Ashington utility player James Taylor has a double reason for looking forward to the final of the Northumberland Senior Cup against Whitley Bay on Wednesday.
Apart from the fact that he will be in the Colliers squad for the match, the 22-year-old community coach for the Newcastle United Foundation will also be making a return to St James’ Park.
Taylor was on a scholarship with the club when he was 16 and two years later signed a one year professional contract with the Magpies.
After being released he joined Ashington – his home town club – where he has become a popular and influential player in Gary Middleton’s squad.
He said: “It’s exciting because it’s always nice to go back to the club which I have supported since I grew up.
“The stadium is the same and I played for the Reserves against Ashington when we won 4-0 in the 2008-09 season.
“I’m really looking forward to it. There is a lot of hype about how attacking both teams are and it’s always a good battle with Whitley Bay.
“In the league this season we turned them over at there place with a 3-1 result whilst they nicked a 2-1 victory in the return at Ashington, but for Wednesday it all depends on which side turns up on the night.
“If we do – as I hope – we can beat anybody providing we play to our full potential.
“It should be a good occasion and from my point of view it would definitely be nice to get a win in an Ashington shirt this time round.”
Meanwhile Taylor admitted that he is happy to be dubbed as a utility player.
“I like the utility role because it means I can do a job anywhere on the field,” he said.
“But I’m loving my time at Ashington and am happy to play anywhere.”