Shaun Rooney will “rest up and get on the pints this summer” after his goals secured St Johnstone “an amazing achievement” – a rare cup double.
The wing-back’s headed winner against Hibernian in the Scottish Cup matched his League Cup feat against Livingston.
Yet Rooney was not first choice at the start of the season and was an injury doubt for the final at Hampden.
“I knew I always had it in me,” the 24-year-old said. “I had to wait my chance and took it when it came along.”
Rooney started the season behind on-loan Danny McNamara in the pecking order after his summer switch from Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
But, with the Englishman recalled by Millwall in January, the Scot has ended it with goals in each final that make St Johnstone only the fourth club to win Scotland’s two main cup competitions in the same season.
“I saw on Twitter the other day the odds on that was 10,000-1 – you’ll always take that,” Rooney told BBC Scotland.
Rooney headed in a David Wotherspoon cross before being forced off with 11 minutes remaining and revealed that his calf had tightened as a result of an ankle injury picked up in training on Friday.
“That’s where I always aim to be – at the back post just waiting – and I managed to get above wee Josh Doig and put it in,” he said.
Rooney thanked the board for trusting Callum Davidson to take over as manager and the man who stepped up from being a former assistant at McDiarmid Park heaped praise back on the goalscorer.
“He’s been absolutely phenomenal,” Davidson said. “He had to bide his time at the start of the season, but again on the big occasion, he’s come up with the goods and won the game.
“St Johnstone were bottom of the Second Division in the late ’80s when Geoff Brown took over and the Brown family have built the club brick by brick and the cup double is all credit to them.”
Davidson’s preparations had been disrupted by eight players being forced to self-isolate because of Covid-19 protocols.
“All credit to the players, we dug in,” he said. “We didn’t look our sharpest and that’s due to what’s gone on in the last three weeks.
“But you saw the character and resilience and I thought, when we got the goal, we weren’t comfortable, but we stuck to our gameplan.
“If I’m being critical, we should maybe have stuck the ball in the net a couple of times, but I don’t have words to describe the effort they put in.”
Emotional midfielder Wotherspoon praised Rooney for “a brilliant finish” and admitted that “my legs were gone” in the closing minutes.
“But the boys just defended for their lives out there,” he added. “To go from where we were at the start of the season to where we are now – a cup double in one season – it’s just unbelievable.”