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Blair clan split by York City's Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie against Coventry
COVENTRY-BORN Matty Blair has confessed that taking on his home-town team in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy will be just as big for his family as watching him play at Wembley.
The Minstermen have been drawn at home to the 1987 FA Cup final winners in the second round of the Football League competition with the game to be played on Tuesday, October 9 (7.45pm).
And for Blair, whose dad Andy started out at Coventry during a distinguished career that also included successful spells with Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday, it is a plum tie that could split family loyalties.
He said: “When the draw was made, I was absolutely buzzing – I really was. I watched it live on Soccer AM and, after Max Rushden drew out Coventry, my phone started going straight away. I’ll have a fair few coming up. My brother is on about getting a coach together just like he did for Wembley and, for my family and friends, this game will be just as big.
“A lot of them are Cov fans and it will be a great experience that I can’t wait for. I’m a Coventry boy and I always keep an eye on their results. A lot of people I know are season-ticket holders there, including some of my cousins. I will have to see who they will be supporting and I imagine there will be a bit of a family divide but my close family will be cheering for York.”
Having netted twice at Wembley last season, Blair admitted getting on the scoresheet against the former Premier League Sky Blues would represent a career highlight too.
“I would cherish a goal against them,” he said. “But the most important thing is to win the tie and I think we are more than capable of doing that.”
Blair also believes the Minstermen have the ability to pursue success on two fronts again in 2012/13 after finishing last term as FA Trophy and Blue Square Bet Premier play-off final winners.
He added: “Some people might call these trophies smaller competitions but the gaffer targets them because they give you the kind of experiences everybody loved last season.
“The FA Trophy was great for myself and the club to go along with our promotion.
“The carrot in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy is Wembley again and, while we keep chipping away to pick up points in the League which is the priority, we regard the competition as another chance to cherish a great occasion. There are so many players who never get the chance to play at Wembley.
“I’ve done it twice and scored there twice already but that’s just made me hungrier to do it again.”