THE third round FA Cup-tie is significant to all involved, none more so than Fleetwood goalkeeper Scott Davies, who had to rebuild his career after being released by the Seasiders as a youngster.
Though he has put that bitter experience well behind him, he remembers clearly the feeling of hurt after that setback.
The Town No.1 recalled: “I was at Blackpool all the way through the Centre of Excellence and then they let me go when I was 16.
“Obviously it still eats away, but I have moved on and they have moved on, and it will be good to come up against them.”
“Steve McMahon was the manager at the time, but I was released before the apprenticeship stage and it was Mike Davies who was in charge with Barry Knowles, but you move clubs and that is all part of being a footballer. “It was devastating, but you have to react and come back.”
It was particularly difficult for a Thornton lad, who had schooled at Sacred Heart and Cardinal Allen, but a move up the coast soon followed.
“I moved on to Morecambe and did well there, and I have ended up at Fleetwood – you never know which way your career is going to take you.
“Hopefully, I can come back and show Blackpool that they made a mistake in letting me go.”
Davies said the match would be one of his career highlights, though he did play in goal for Morecambe in 2007 when they beat Exeter at Wembley in the Conference play-off final to gain Football League status.
But he added: “This is definitely up there and, being from these parts, I know exactly what it means to people. It is massive for the town and a big game to play in. The phone has not stopped ringing with people asking for tickets since the draw was mad. I have got friends that I have forgotten were friends!”
Davies, a Manchester City fan, has established himself firmly as Town’s first choice. He shared the duties with Danny Hurst last season, but the latter’s move to Barrow in the summer left Davies as the unrivalled No.1.
He said: “I think I made the gaffer (Micky Mellon) make that decision. I would like to think I have proved him right by being the ever-present this season.”
Looking ahead to tomorrow’s challenge, Davies added: “There are going to be dangers all over the place. All we can do is do our job and play at the level we know we can play at.
“Blackpool could have an off-day but what matters is that we do ourselves justice.”
Having experienced stepping up to the Football League with the Shrimps, Davies is well placed to compare Fleetwood’s progress towards the same target.
“We are probably ahead of Morecambe at the same stage, financially and in terms of the playing staff.
“If you look through the whole squad here, every player is capable of playing in the Football League, if they have not played there already.”