Gary Mulligan knows all about the magic of the FA Cup and he’s hoping to enjoy some more with Kettering Town this season.
The Poppies begin their quest for a good run in the competition with a tricky-looking first qualifying round clash at Market Drayton Town on Saturday.
The Evo-Stik Northern League Division One South outfit sit in the lower half of the table but head into their clash with Kettering on the back of four successive wins without conceding a goal.
The Poppies have been licking their wounds this week after they suffered a 2-1 loss at Stratford Town in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division last weekend, which came about after Mulligan had headed them into a first-half lead with his first goal of the season.
But Mulligan is hoping a change of competition will bring with it a change in fortune.
He, along with current Kettering team-mates Elliot Sandy and Brett Solkhon, was part of the Brackley Town team that dumped another of his former clubs Gillingham out of the FA Cup nearly two years ago.
And he is keen to ensure more memories are made with the Poppies this season.
“I think every player always looks forward to the FA Cup, it really is the best club competition in the world,” Mulligan said.
“Everyone wants to do well in it and I have had a pretty good record with my former clubs.
“It’s going to be tough because Market Drayton will fancy their chances but hopefully we can do the business.
“It was frustrating at Stratford because we went into it with plenty of confidence after two wins over the bank holiday weekend.
“We went 1-0 up but it just seems to be individual mistakes that are costing us at the moment, although we do need to start taking the chances we create at the other end as well.
“It feels like we are waiting for things to click all at the same time. We have played well in the vast majority of matches and we know there’s nothing to fear.
“We just need to make sure everything comes together at the same time.”
Mulligan’s versatility has proved useful for boss Marcus Law this season.
He has been used as both a central defender and midfielder in the early stages of the campaign and the 30-year-old insists he is happy with whatever role he can play.
“To be honest, I feel comfortable in either position,” he added.
“It was something I talked about with the manager before I signed for him in the summer.
“It could be dependent on our opposition on that particular day but whatever job I get asked to do, I will do it as well as I can.”