Further evidence of the vast magic of the FA Cup comes from Wolverhampton this weekend. And goes by the name of Liverpool Academy graduate Conor Coady. The Merseyside-native and first-team-almost-man moved to Wolves in 2015 to make his career as a profession footballer and Saturday’s fourth-round cup tie will see Coady whisked back to Anfield, back to the house he dreamed of playing in as a boy. Presto.
“I’m a huge Liverpool fan,” said Coady. “I still go to as many games as I possibly can and, for me and my family, this is something I have always wanted.
“I grew up at Liverpool. I was at the Academy from the age of six and I left when I was twenty. It was a club that gave me everything.”
Coady was on the cusp of the cusp for several seasons while at the Academy and he was one of a few young players that fans were pinning hopes on for the future. It didn’t work out but the Scouser will be remembered well by supporters and if he sees the pitch at Anfield, I expect a warm welcome in a bucket of feels.
“If the gaffer picks me, I know it’s about playing the game and not the occasion,” said Coady.
“It will be a massive day, not just for me but for all of my family, who are all massive Liverpool fans. And they will be very proud on the day.”
Wolves will be hoping to capitalize on the downward turn of form that has plagued Liverpool since the very dawn of 2017. But, Coady isn’t counting on an easy ride.
“It’s always going to be a tough time to play against Liverpool,” said Coady, “no matter what recent results they have had.
“They have got some world-class players in their team and it is going to be tough to stop them but we will go there and look to play our normal game.
“It’s a good chance for us to test ourselves against the best.”
There are plenty of reds who will be hoping for a little dash of that Emirates Cup wizardry to be sprinkled around the home team changing room on Saturday, too. Get it on your boots, boys. Roll around in it if you have to.
I’m old enough to remember Liverpool struggling against Plymouth Argyle in the third round. Anfield will need to be up for this one.