SIXFIELDS Stadium is where it all starts tomorrow night, but we all know where we hope it will end . . .
Wembley is the prize for those reaching the final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and that’s not something to be sniffed at.
Fair enough, the early rounds usually feature teams giving fringe or previously injured players a chance, or experimenting because things aren’t quite going right in the league.
Changes are limited these days to basically five, but it was no surprise to me to here the gaffer, Lee Clark, saying how determined he is to do well in the competition this year.
We all remember how bitterly disappointed we were last year when we went to Carlisle in the Northern Final and lost 4-0.
When you have got two games to reach Wembley you will take a one-goal deficit from the first leg, or perhaps even the two, but four left us with a massive mountain to climb.
It almost happened in a brilliant second leg at the Galpharm, but in the end it was Carlisle who went through and it left us all feeling very empty.
All we should need to do for motivation is remember that feeling, because the players – who were absolutely gutted about what happened against Carlisle – will not want to feel like that again.
The chance to play at Wembley is fantastic for everybody – the players, management, staff and supporters – but we can’t get there without performing against Northampton tomorrow night, so it’s an important match.
Mention of Sixfields brings back a mix of memories for me.
Firstly, I scored a hat trick there once in what was Leon Knight’s first game for the club.
I hadn’t scored for ages and was wondering where my next goal was coming from, especially when I hit a post early on and then headed over.
But I managed to scuff one in eventually and it turned out to be a perfect hat trick – right foot, left foot and then Thomas Heary crossing for a header.
I also remember the match there which was abandoned because an advertising board was blown from the stand roof and fell in the crowd.
We were playing so badly that day it was unbelievable, and we were losing, but when we went back we won and Paul Rachubka played out of his skin to keep a clean sheet.
I’M feeling a bit down in the dumps about Yorkshire cricket at the moment with us struggling to avoid relegation from Division I of the Championship.
Things are not going too well right now for Martyn Moxon and the boys and I’m particularly gutted for the skipper, Andrew Gale, who as everyone knows is a big Town fan.
He is injured at the moment and the fact he can’t get out there on the pitch and do what he does best will be massively frustrating for him.
I was fortunate enough to play with the Yorkshire lads recently in a benefit game for gloveman Gerard Brophy (pictured inset) and it was very enjoyable.
It was the day after that very worthwhile football match for the Huw Thatcher Trust at Brighouse and, having played for over an hour in that, I could barely move the next morning when I was supposed to be playing cricket.