Lichfield goalkeeper James Beeson expressed his excitement for City’s upcoming FA Cup tie at home to Nuneaton Borough and to be involved in a competition which has created many memories for him.
“It’s a massive competition isn’t it?”, the 27-year-old said.
“My first memory was probably the David Seaman save against Sheffield United. Obviously, as a goalie I remember seeing the save and going out into the garden and trying to replicate it.
“Then, of course, you’ve got the Steven Gerrard moment when he scored that equaliser against West Ham at the Millennium Stadium. I remember watching that on TV.”
The ‘keeper also shared his memories of previously playing in the oldest cup competition in the world.
“I was at Boldmere and must have been 15 or 16, doing quite well in the youth team”, he said. “The gaffer called me up and I was on the bench for the first game in the qualifying round and I was thinking wow, I’m on the bench in the FA Cup. It was that first involvement of being in and around the first-team and being involved in an FA Cup situation.
“Going on from there, funnily enough I was with Ivor at Atherstone and when we went on that long run where we got knocked out against Kidderminster, I was actually injured for that, that was a big occasion.”
On a personal note, the shot stopper hadn’t won an FA Cup game before this season until City’s recent run. Beeson said: “I was saying to one of the lads at the Stourport game that, until this season, I’ve not actually won an FA Cup game whilst I’ve been playing. So when we went to Stourport I’m thinking ‘first game of the season, first game for Lichfield, could this be the one?’.
“Obviously we won, then beat Evesham which was massive. Like I said, it’s a massive competition and one you always look out for, one you look to do well in.”
With Saturday’s clash with Nuneaton Borough the club’s biggest fixture in it’s history, the ‘keeper remained adamant that the game creates excitement instead of pressure.
“I think it’s a bunch of excitement”, he said. “Ivor is a really good manager and he doesn’t put pressure on us; if you have any pressure it’s more personal. Obviously you want to do well for yourself and for the team and we don’t feel the pressure from the club as such.”
“It’s the best club to be at, honestly. It’s one of the best atmospheres I’ve had as a player. The bunch of lads, the chairman, just everyone is so involved and so welcoming, you know what I mean?
It’s a really good atmosphere around the club at the minute.
“They say it’s the biggest game in the club’s history, but that just brings excitement really more than anything. We don’t feel the pressure that we have to do well or having to play well, it’s more the fact of go and enjoy yourself and what will be will be.
“We believe in ourselves, we’ve got a great set of lads like I said, and it’s more the case of go and enjoy yourself and what will be will be. Ivor says you play your best football when you enjoy it and that’s been my motto since I’ve played under him. When you play with a smile on your face, that’s when you play your best football and at the minute we’re really enjoying it and the results are showing.”