Stevenage’s Tom Pett looking forward to first taste of FA Cup

Tom Pett

Tom Pett - Credit: Archant

Stevenage midfielder Tom Pett is “excited” ahead of his first proper taste of FA Cup football as Maidstone United travel to the Lamex Stadium in round one on Sunday.

The 22-year-old, who signed for Boro from non-league Wealdstone during the summer, has only ever experienced the qualifying rounds of the competition during his five-year non-league career.

Therefore, this weekend’s clash with the Kent side is likely to be a huge occasion for Pett, having played and scored for the Stones against Maidstone last season.

Pett told the Comet: “For me this will be my first real experience of the FA Cup so yes I am excited.

“Last season, we (Wealdstone) went out after losing 6-1 at Hornchurch, having had one of our centre-backs sent off in the first 10 minutes.

“Professionally that is as close as I have come to the competition so Sunday will be great for me to finally get involved and hopefully start the game.

“I know a bit about Maidstone but I am not sure how much the little bits of advice I have given to the lads will help because they have a lot of new players but I will try to help where I can.”

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On a personal level, the former Potters Bar man knows just how much lifting the FA Cup means to any club.

Arsenal fan Pett was present at the Gunners’ 2005 penalty shootout win over Manchester United at the Millenium Stadium, Cardiff, the club’s last trophy before sealing this year’s FA Cup with a nail-biting win over Hull City at Wembley.

Pett continued: “Everyone talks about the magic of the FA Cup and being there to see my team Arsenal win it was great.

“We did not deserve to win the game in all honesty because they battered us all game but we got lucky and that is what a lot of sides can try and replicate in the FA Cup.

“Anyone can beat anyone with a bit of luck and we know we have to guard against complacency at all times.”

Stevenage currently lie 16th in League Two, four points off the playoff places and the combative midfielder feels a Cup run could help their stuttering league form.

Pett said: “A decent cup run is always good for confidence and a couple of wins in this competition would give us the belief to push on in the league.

“As professionals, we should not worry about two games in a week due to a busy schedule.

“In previous years, the FA Cup has been good to Stevenage and although we (Stevenage) made the fourth round last season and thus got relegated, we should not be worried about it hindering our season.

“It is great for the fans and the club so we would welcome any success we have.”