FA Cup kick-started Williams' football career

George Williams
George Williams

Plying his trade in non-league football for Worcester City, George Williams' performances in the FA Cup helped him get back into professional football.

After beating Coventry at the Ricoh Arena, Worcester forced two draws with Scunthorpe before the longest ever FA Cup penalty shoot-out as the Iron eventually won 14-13.

His performances in those underdog televised FA Cup games, Williams believes, allowed him to get back into the professional game after he was released by MK Dons as an 18-year-old.

"I was playing well there, the replay was midweek and a day later, Barnsley called," said Williams. "It gave us a chance as Worcester to show what we could do against higher opposition and got me the move, I guess.

"We had a great season but the FA Cup was special. We went to Coventry and beat them at the Ricoh which, for as non-league club, was incredible. In the second round, we drew Scunthorpe and drew away from home, which was huge. And the replay back at home was a draw as well, and we went on to have the record penalty shoot-out. We ended up losing but it was a great experience."

Dons have not lost in the first round since 2010, and faced with a trip to Grimsby this Saturday, Williams says the FA Cup is still an important date in the fixture list.

He said: "The FA Cup is massive and I'm really looking forward to it – I've had some really good times in the FA Cup.

"It says it all – Grimsby away, it's going to be tough. We're in a great place at the minute and it should be a good weekend. I've never been, so I'm looking forward to it, and my dad is ticking it off his list as well! We're all pretty buzzing for it."