Sam Gaughran has achieved a lot in his relatively short career so far, but one thing missing from the King’s Lynn Town defender’s CV is a run in the FA Cup.
The youngster has won promotion with Lowestoft Town and flirted with league football at Peterborough United, but never has he enjoyed a long run in the world’s most prestigious cup competition.
That is something the born-and-bred Lynn player would like to put right going into tomorrow’s Third Qualifying Round home tie against Alfreton Town.
Looking ahead to the tie, Gaughran said: “I was part of the club when they last had a cup run.
“I was around it and just the experience of being around it was superb, but now as a player I’d love to have a cup run.
“This week is massive for the club so hopefully we can have a good crowd here and a positive result.
“On our day, when we are at it I don’t think there are many clubs at Step Two or Three who will brush us aside, maybe one or two.
“If we play at the same intensity as we did against Chippenham with the tempo, I think we are a match for anyone.
“It is going to be a tough game. They are a good side. I know they’ve just sold a striker, but they will have other players and a bench full of experience too.
“It will be difficult but hopefully we can grind out a result.”
Gaughran enjoyed a brief taste of FA Cup fever for the Linnets in the season they went on to meet Oldham Athletic in the first round proper.
He made his first team debut away at Tring back in September 2006 and was an unused substitute in the victories against Halesowen Town and Bishop’s Stortford.
Linnets boss Gary Setchell praised the recent contribution of his defender, saying: “I’ve given Sam Gaughran, publicly, some stick, some serious stick.
“All credit to Sam. He lost 10 pounds, he’s lost another three over the last few weeks, and I weigh him every home game – along with a couple of others.
“He looks better, he feels better and he’s playing a lot better.
“He’s a leader, he’s been outstanding and I can only come out here and say: ‘Well done Sam, you’ve proved me wrong.’
“I’ve given you a rocket but on the other side he’s got to be thanking me for giving him the rocket.”
On his recent upturn in form, Gaughran said: “I was very disappointed with some of my performances last season and apart from the games at St Neots and Banbury, I’ve hit a bit of form and hopefully I can now carry on.
“It’s never nice when a manager says stuff about you publicly but on the flip side it did have an effect on me.
“It did make me have a look at myself and think what can I do better so the rocket probably has helped.”
The winners of tomorrow’s tie will pick up £7,500 and will be just one round away from the potential of meeting a side from the Football League.