Former Blackpool favourite James Quinn plotting FA Cup upset for Solihull Moors

James Quinn in action for the Seasiders in 1997
James Quinn in action for the Seasiders in 1997

Former Blackpool man James Quinn, now a first-team coach at Solihull Moors, is plotting a famous cup upset against his former club.

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Quinn made over 150 appearances for the Seasiders in a spell that spanned from 1993 to 1998, scoring more than 40 goals.

It was during that time on the Fylde coast that the former striker’s career took off, earning a move to West Bromwich Albion.

The 43-year-old said: “I had a brilliant time there. I went there as a pretty young kid, a first-year pro and ended up staying for nearly five years.

“It helped me grow on and off-the-pitch. Living on my own, playing with experienced players and playing under some very good managers was a fantastic foundation for me and my career.”

And when the draw for Friday night’s second round clash was made, Quinn soon realised he would be coming up against a former teammate in Gary Brabin.

Not only a former colleague, Quinn also worked alongside Brabin during his time in charge of Tranmere Rovers.

“I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t even think about it! I just wanted a home tie and didn’t care who we got,” Quinn added.

“As soon as it came out, it clicked and straight away I think about my time there.

“One of my best friends, Gary Brabin, is the assistant manager at Blackpool. It will be good to come up against him – it got me very excited straight away.

“It’s been a good build-up to it and if we don’t go through, then I’ll be wishing them all the best.

“He’s (Brabin) been quizzing me every day to be honest with you. They’ll be doing their homework on us like we’ve done our homework on them.

“He’s not giving me any secrets, nor am I. We just look forward to getting out there and see which team can get into the hat for the next round.”

Solihull, who are sixth in the National League, have lost just twice at home this calendar year.

“This isn’t an easy place to come, no matter what team you are. It’s going to be the same for them,” Quinn said.

“We’re going to make it difficult like we do for every other team that’s been here. Our form over the past year here has shown that it’s a very difficult place to come.

“We’ll do everything that we do well again and let’s see if they can deal with that.”

With the game being screened live on BBC Two, Quinn believes this is a major opportunity for some of his Solihull players to showcase their talents.

He said: “I think the lads should embrace it. Some players can go under a little bit, but we’ve got a strong dressing room in there.

“I think they’ll relish playing in front of the cameras, relish playing in front of a big crowd and it’s something that we will hopefully remember for the rest of our lives – especially if we get a good result.

“I know Sutton got Arsenal a couple of years ago – it put them on the map. We’ve got this game to go first and we’re just thinking about that.

“If we do manage to get through, then I’m sure we’ll sit and watch the draw for the third round with excitement.

“This is the game we’ve got to concentrate on first.”