Winger Re-Ignites Love of CompetitionJarrett Rivers is looking forward to another taste of FA Cup action this season - this time as a professional.
The winger, who made his first league start for Blackpool against Bradford City this week, starred for Blyth Spartans in the competition last season as the non-league side reached the third round.
It was a memorable experience for the 22-year-old, who scored the winner to upset Hartlepool United in the previous round.
“I can’t even remember much about my goal because it was all just a blur. All I remember was the pile on, and I couldn’t really breathe at the bottom of it," he said.
“The media attention around the cup run was crazy. I worked in my mam’s shop for about a year-and-a-half and people would turn up wanting interviews. It was unbelievable."
Rivers' performances in the FA Cup attracted plenty of attention, with several scouts monitoring the progress of the former Middlesbrough youth player.
“I was playing well anyway but the FA Cup gives you that exposure because we had matches shown on television. Professional managers could see you playing and that helped me to get noticed.
“I was only at Blyth for a year, but it was probably the best season I’ve had in football. I was definitely ready to step up in the summer and I’m more determined than ever to take my chance.”
The winner of the Evo-Stik Young Player of the Year award in May, Rivers agreed a move to Blackpool at the end of last season and is currently competing against Bright Osayi-Samuel and Henry Cameron for a place in the side.
"We’re young wingers working hard to get in the team, with Jim McAlister doing really well on the left. Scoring and creating goals is my main target in games and that’s what I’ll be looking to do for the team.”
Gradually building up to the demands of professional football, the winger is leaving no stone unturned in his efforts to make the grade.
“I always try to do a bit extra after training to help me improve," he admitted. "I always want to be better and give myself a better chance of playing in games. I’m learning every day off the gaffer and I always ask Richie (Kyle) where I can improve. The fans can expect a lot more from me.”
Rivers will hope to retain his place in the line-up for Blackpool's Emirates FA Cup encounter at Barnet, as he looks to avoid being part of a team on the wrong side of an upset this time around.
"I know what it's like to be up against a club from a higher division, and I'm sure Barnet will be up for the challenge. Hopefully we get the right result and go into the draw for the next round."