Wayne looking to Buc Trophy trend

BLYTH Spartans FC central defender Wayne Buchanan knows all about the club’s famous cup runs in the FA Cup, but now he wants to make history in the Trophy on Saturday.

For victory against local rivals Gateshead at Croft Park will book Blyth a place in the semi-finals of the competition for the first time ever.

Blyth have twice reached the quarter-final stage of the competition and Buchanan believes they have a great chance of making it third time lucky in progressing through to the last four.

“We’re confident going in to the match, they’re definitely the favourites but we believe we’ve got the ability to cause them problems but also know how tough it will be,” he said.

“There certainly won’t be any complacency, we’ve got this far on merit and don’t want to throw it away now.

“We won’t be taking anything for granted, Mick (Tait) will make us aware of their strengths but we can’t concentrate too much on them, we’ve got to play our own game.”

The likeable Irishman comes from a big sporting family in Banbridge, County Down, and was made well aware of the Spartans’ famous cup exploits during his upbringing.

He said. “Everybody knows the name of Blyth Spartans because of what they have achieved in the FA Cup.

“We always talked about sport in our family, whether it was football or boxing, and I can recall the Spartans cropping up in conversations many times.

“Being at a club like this it is important to try and make history and give the fans the success they deserve.

“When I arrived here I remember telling my friends that I wanted to be a part of something special, and at the minute we’re in the process of building a very good side with a lot of potential.

“I just don’t want to look back and think of what might have been, we’ve got a great opportunity to do something here and we must do our best to take it.”

After signing a professional contract with Bolton Wanderers a decade ago, Buchanan spent two seasons at the Reebok before returning to Northern Ireland in 2003 with IFA Premiership side Lisburn Distillery.

After six years and 226 appearances with the club he decided to begin a new life in Australia, where he went on trial with A-League outfit Gold Coast United.

On his return to the UK in 2010 he was soon offered a contract by Gateshead and spent the final few months of last season at the International Stadium before making the switch to Croft Park in the summer.

Buchanan said. “When I came back from Australia, Gateshead got in touch and offered me a contract until the end of the season.

“I was looking forward to the challenge but I got an injury almost straight away and ended up only playing two games for the club.”

Buchanan has been Mr Reliable for Spartans this season, and had appeared in every minute of every game before a head injury forced Mick Tait to substitute the defender in last week’s home match against Eastwood Town.

He said: “It was frustrating to have to come off but it was out of my control, I’m fully recovered now and I’m really looking forward to Saturday.”