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Page last updated at 12:12 GMT, Wednesday, 5 May 2010 13:12 UK

Ash ruins County's Cup final trip

Smoke billows from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland
Ash from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland has disrupted airspace

By David McDaid

Ross County have abandoned their plans for a Scottish Cup final training camp in Spain because of the latest volcanic ash cloud.

The First Division side were due to fly from Glasgow but, with airport closures and the expected traveller backlog, the club have decided to stay in Scotland.

County manager Derek Adams told BBC Scotland: "The players are gutted, but there's not much we can do about it.

"Dingwall's not quite sunny Marbella, but we'll just have to get on with it."

The Staggies will meet Dundee United in the final at Hampden Park on 15 May.

As part of their preparations, the squad were on their way to spend time at a training base in Marbella.

It is the final that has caught the attention of football fans everywhere

SFA marketing manager Colin Banks

But, with the latest ash cloud drifting south from Iceland, many of Scotland's airports have been have forced to close as the ash particles pose a danger to aircraft.

"We thought about getting another flight tomorrow, but there will be so many people looking to do the same," Adams explained.

"So we decided the best thing to do would be to return back north and we'll stay at home to prepare in Dingwall."

County have sold nearly 15,000 tickets for the final and the club believe they are still on course to take the 20,000 fans targeted by president Roy MacGregor.

Overall sales have crossed the 40,000 threshold and the Scottish Football Association has now opened the top tier of the South Stand to satisfy demand.

The SFA says that the uptake has confounded critics and marketing manager Colin Banks said: "We are absolutely delighted by the response from both sets of supporters.

"It is the final that has caught the attention of football fans everywhere and the current sales are a reflection of loyalty shown to the clubs by the supporters and their communities at large.

"There is still less than two weeks to go and I am sure that more people will want to be part of what promises to be an open and exciting final.

"It will be a great occasion and one that will live long in the memories of those who are in attendance."

see also
Cup finalists want more tickets
29 Apr 10 |  Scottish Cups
Euro clarity for cup final teams
21 Apr 10 |  Scottish Cups


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