Michael Nottingham admits the chance to return to former club Solihull Moors in the Emirates FA Cup is a tie he prayed for.
The defender, who stepped up from non-league to make his professional league debut at 29 this season, spent three years with Solihull between 2013 and 2016, winning numerous personal accolades for his performances, as well as a promotion.
“I was very happy with the draw,” Nottingham said. “It was something I was actually praying for all day, to go back there. It’s obviously my old club, I spent three years there, three amazing years, had good times and won the league there. It was a good part of my development to get me where I am now. I went there as a centre-half and left there as a right-back.”
Given his close links to the club, he’s well versed to prep The Seasiders on what to expect on Friday night. The personnel on the field at Solihull is much changed, however.
“It’s changed quite a bit since I’ve left there and there isn’t many left, but there are still players that I actually know and have played against who are there now,” he revealed. “They’re a good team and very physical, similar to us, and they can play.”
The task for Blackpool will be to avoid a cup upset in front of the BBC TV cameras, with Nottingham determined to finally have a good run in the competition.
“I’ve not had the best of times in the FA Cup with my pervious clubs. I’d never even got to the first round proper until I came here, which is where we start, obviously. It’s the cup that everybody wants to do well in and everybody wants to play in. It’s a massive opportunity for everybody.
“Everyone seems to raise their game in the FA Cup, no matter who you are playing. There’s always a shock and some mad results that happen in it. We’ll be trying not to let that happen tomorrow.
“We won’t be letting our guard down and taking it easy, we want to get through to the third round. We’ll treat it with all the respect,” he added.