ALAN Marriott is still pinching himself at the thought of facing the millionaires of Liverpool in Sunday’s FA Cup third round showdown at the One Call Stadium.
The Mansfield Town goalkeeper insisted he and his team mates would not be starstruck and said: “You just want to have a good game and not embarrass ourselves in front of friends, family and the watching world.
“You hope it’s not a cricket score and you hope Suarez is rested up and at home in Liverpool.
“We just have to go out and enjoy the occasion. It fulfils a lot of dreams for a lot of people.
“It is unbelievable when you think about the players you could come up against. You can’t grasp the reality of it sometimes.
“In Daniel Sturridge we could be coming up against someone who this week cost £12m, which is more than all of us and the club put together. It is mind-blowing coming up against players of that calibre.
“They have a fantastic depth to the squad with U21 internationals and anyone who plays will want to show they are good enough to play for Liverpool.
“But this is going to be a test for them on this pitch and let’s see how they deal with big Ex’s throw as well.
“We will enjoy the day and then keep the memories locked away for when we are sitting in a rocking chair.”
The FA Cup tends to create lasting memories and Marriott is no exception, saying: “I am a Tottenham fan and my greatest FA Cup memory was that Paul Gascoigne free kick against Arsenal in the semi-finals. It is one of the greatest ever goals and I can’t remember the number of times I recreated that in my back garden.”
Like the rest of the players, Marriott had faced a barrage of ticket requests for the sold-out tie.
“The scramble for tickets has been amazing. I have been asked by everyone from people I bought a car off to local shopkeepers,” he said.
“But I have a tight-knit group of family and friends who have followed me through thick and thin so I always tend to look after them.
“Some of the lads have been asking for about 40 tickets and I was thinking do you really need that many? But it is Liverpool and everyone wants to be part of it.
“No disrespect to other teams but we could have pulled Hastings away which would have taken the shine away from the third round. Drawing Liverpool has given everyone a massive lift.
“Financially for the club it is massive. Our fans have missed out on a lot of big games since we have been in the Conference so it is good to get everyone buzzing again and smiles on their faces.”