Some may believe the ‘magic of the FA Cup’ is fading in these days of the Premier League, Champions League and multi-millionaire footballers - but Cobblers boss Keith Curle isn’t one of them.
Indeed, the former Manchester City, Wimbledon, Sheffield United and Wolves player is a big fan of the competition, insisting that ‘dreams can come true’.
The Cobblers kick off their FA Cup campaign on Saturday when they travel to Sky Bet League Two rivals Lincoln City (ko 3pm).
It is a tough draw for both clubs, who would surely rather be at home to non-League opposition, but Curle is excited about the game at Sincil Bank, and at having the chance to add his list of FA Cup memories.
“As a player I reached the quarter-finals a couple of times, I reached the semi-finals,” said the Cobblers boss.
“We got beat by Arsenal at Villa Park when Hans Segers messed up back pass, and we lost that one 1-0.
“We beat Tottenham 4-1 on another occasion when I was at Manchester City, and it is a great competition.
“I had some highlights but never got to a final, which was disappointing.”
There is talk every year of the FA Cup ‘losing its magic’, but Curle doesn’t subscribe to that view.
“The FA Cup still offers up opportunities,” said the Town boss. “We came across Junior (Morias) when I was at Carlisle, and we played St Albans away.
“It was a televised game and Junior scored twice, and I think that performance in the competition got him a move to Peterborough.
“Also, everybody likes a giant-killing.
“If you look at Lincoln, and the run they had the other season (they reached the quarter-finals while a non-League team, losing at Arsenal) has enabled them to open up a new training venue for the future.
“It has led to them to have the opportunity to leave a legacy that has been financed by the FA Cup, and dreams can come true.”
The Cobblers were knocked out at the first round stage last season, going down 1-0 at Scunthorpe United in a replay, while the season before Town were beaten at non-League Stourbridge in the second round.
The most recent time the club managed to reach the third round was in 2016, when Chris Wilder’s team were beaten in a replay at Milton Keynes Dons, having drawn the original tie at Sixfields 2-2.
Town go into Saturday’s tie on a run of six wins in their past seven games, and Curle is keen to maintain that run.
“This is an opportunity for the players to represent the football club, and represent myself, and we want to win the game,” said the Town manager.
“We know it is a cup competition, and potentially you can go and get a draw out of it and stay in the cup.
“But we have 90/95 minutes to go out there and put on a show that will hopefully bring us success.”