Playing in a cup final is special for anyone in Non-League football. But for Nantwich Town’s Steve Jones this Wednesday’s Cheshire Senior Cup final it’s extra significant.
The 40-year-old will be heading back to the Alexandra Stadium to play the club he made his name at in Crewe Alexandra.
Ahead of the tie, the excited Jones said: “Yes I am looking forward to it.
“It’s going to be strange going back to the Alexandra Stadium and even more so going into the away changing room.
“But it’s one that all the lads and I are looking forward to it and we can’t wait to get there for the game. It’s my first time back at Crewe so it will be a bit strange but a lot of my friends are coming as are my work colleagues.”
The former Northern Ireland international last played for the Railwaymen back in 2008 when he joined on a loan spell from Burnley and he says it will be a dream to score the winner at the ground where he made a name for himself.
He said: “It will be a bit weird if you said that I would go back and score the winner at the Alexandra stadium.
“But it’s something I’m dreaming of. It will be tough as they have been beating teams 4 or 5-0 in the competition.
“We need to be on our metal and everyone needs to play at 100%. But it’s going to be a great moment and one we will enjoy as I think there be a big crowd there on the night and we are all looking forward to it.”
The Dabbers man isn’t just a hero as a player at Gresty Road, he is also a coach for the Sky Bet League Two side so will have divided loyalties on Wednesday night.
He explained: “ I’m a full-time coach at Crewe Alexandra and I play my football for Nantwich Town, so I will be hoping to score the goals to get Nantwich the win and to beat Crewe.
“So it’s a strange position for me but I want Nantwich Town to win on the night.”
With their attentions focused on the Football League, many will be wanting to know what sort of side Alex will be putting out.
Many are expecting it to mainly feature the club’s under 23s side. But with it being a local derby and a lot at stake then maybe they will put a few first team stars into the mix.
He said: “I think it will be a mixture of under 23s and first teamers who don’t play and then the under 23s who will get a game or two, managed by youth team coach Alex Morris. But they play some good football.
“We also play good football so it will be a good game with two teams who like to play football on the night and we are really looking forward to the day.”
The main question that is on everyone’s lips is can Nantwich get the win and take the bragging rights in the local derby.
Jones thinks so: “At the end of the day, it’s 11 human being vs. 11 human beings.
“But they have got the advantage of being full time and at home. We know it will be a really tough game, it’s our cup final more than theirs and we really want it.”