AFC Fylde star Jordan Tunnicliffe is relishing a crack at some familiar faces when his side welcome Kidderminster Harriers to Mill Farm this weekend.
The Coasters take on last season’s title rivals on Saturday in an FA Cup grudge match for a place in the second round of the competition for the first time in club history.
Ex-Harriers man Tunnicliffe, along with fellow defenders Zaine Francis-Angol and Josh Ezewele, made the switch from Kidderminster in the summer.
The Coasters were crowned Champions of the National League North last term at the expense of the Worcestershire outfit, however in a twist of fate, the trio will enjoy a reunion with their former employers sooner than expected after the surprise cup draw.
Tunnicliffe, voted Kidderminster’s Player of the Year by his peers last season, came through the ranks at West Bromwich Albion before settling at the Aggborough Stadium, but has fired a warning shot to his old friends ahead of this weekend’s clash.
Tunnicliffe said: “It’s always exciting for any player at any level to play in the FA Cup. I grew up watching the competition and it’s always been my aim to go as far as possible.
“I was with Kidderminster for three years so there is obviously a bit of added spice for me, but I’ll just go out there and treat it like any other game.
“I’m looking forward to playing against some old friends, but at the end of the day, when I cross that white line, the only thing on my mind will be winning the game for Fylde and reaching the second round.
“I still speak to some of the lads there and I follow their results. They are still a good side and we know what to expect. They get the ball down and play and we will have to combat that to ensure we are the team in the hat for the next round.
“A few of their players have changed, but they have the same manager that will instil the same style of play, despite the new faces.”
Tunnicliffe believes that after a steady start on the Fylde Coast, the former Kidderminster contingent are starting adapt to their new surroundings.
“The three of us have all settled in well here at Fylde. We are in the league above now and it is much tougher but we have all found our feet.
“I think I personally made a slow start but I have played every league game and I’m proud of that. We were disappointed with how many goals we were conceding earlier in the season but we have nullified that recently and hopefully we can keep it up.”
The 24-year-old has been paired with several defensive partners over the opening stages of the season, but now feels settled alongside Oldham loanee George Edmundson.
“George has done really well since coming in. It’s not easy to go on loan and be thrown straight into the team but he has taken it in his stride and I’m enjoying playing alongside him.”