YORK City supporter Shaun Pearson is hoping to dump his boyhood heroes out of the FA Trophy today.

The Boston United centre back landed his dream draw when the Pilgrims were handed an away tie at Bootham Crescent in the first round and is relishing the chance of playing against the Minstermen rather than cheering them on.

A former Woodthorpe Primary School pupil, Pearson is enjoying his second season at the Blue Square Bet North high-fliers having worked his way through the leagues following spells at Downham Town, Spalding and Stamford.

He has been an integral member of a Boston back four that has kept 13 clean sheets in 16 league matches this season.

The PE school teacher said: “Most of the lads knew playing at Bootham Crescent was the draw I wanted. I was working at school when it was made but, when I picked up my phone 20 minutes later, there were three missed calls, four texts and two voice mails.

“I’ve played seven-a-side at the ground before a match when I was in Year 4. We lost 1-0 and, while it was a good experience, this will be totally different.

“We are hoping to come away with a result and it will be interesting to see how we do as a promoted team who are taking on a side from the next level. We have a never-say-die attitude and pride ourselves on keeping clean sheets.”

Pearson, 21, played for Hamilton Panthers as a youngster and also had a trial for City schoolboys aged eight.

He moved to Norfolk aged 11 due to his father’s work but most of his family still live in York and will be among tomorrow’s crowd.

Pearson first attended City games with his uncle and cousin, who nicknamed him “The Jinx” as he rarely saw a victory in those early days.

In fact, his first – a 2-1 Christmas win at Rochdale in 2003 – proved the penultimate triumph in a campaign that ended with the club being relegated to the Conference.

Since leaving York, Pearson gets to more away fixtures than home and is always impressed by City’s support on the road.

He added: “After moving south, I’d get to about 15 games a season, mostly away. I was at both Wembley games and the last league match I went to was Tamworth away last season, which fell on a midweek day when we didn’t have a fixture.

“I haven’t been this season yet, but will as soon as the opportunity arises. I love watching City away.

“The first game I went to by myself was at Stevenage when I was 15 and the atmosphere in the away end was brilliant. City were near the bottom of the Conference but took about 200 fans and were still singing after the final whistle.”

Today could also present Pearson with an opportunity to prove himself on a bigger stage and, having worked his way up the part-time ranks, he still harbours ambitions of playing at a higher level.

“Like most young boys, I have always wanted to be a professional footballer,” he said. “If we can win promotion, I might achieve that next season but I am 21 so there’s still plenty of time.”