Sammy wants to create Moore FA Cup memories with the O’s
PUBLISHED: 17:00 06 November 2015
Simon O'Connor Photography
Former AFC Wimbledon man talks about facing Steven Gerrard, becoming a father, Staines Town and winning the FA Youth Cup
Sammy Moore has fond memories of the FA Cup after a successful run in the competition last year and is determined to create more history with Leyton Orient this season.
The O’s are preparing to face Staines Town tomorrow (Saturday) in the first round of the famous tournament at Brisbane Road, dreaming of reaching the third round and getting drawn against one of the big boys.
That was exactly what happened to Moore at AFC Wimbledon last year as he went toe-to-toe with England and Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard.
It was at the Cherry Red Records Stadium during a third round clash broadcast live on the BBC and is a career highlight for the 28-year-old.
His former Dons side were beaten 2-1 on the night with Gerrard scoring twice and the Orient ace wants another shot at facing the Premier League’s best.
“I was luckily enough to get through to the third round last year and get a good tie with Liverpool at home, live on the BBC,” said Moore.
“It is one of the best competitions in the world and it is always nice to get into the third round because then you can get a big tie. But you need to work just as hard in the first and second round to get your rewards.
“You don’t realise how good people like Steven Gerrard are until you play against them - their movement and the skill they have got is just second to none.
“Hopefully I can bring that experience from last season into this year because I want us to try and get to the third round and get a big tie.”
Moore’s history with the FA Cup isn’t just limited to last season as he won the youth competition back in 2005 as well.
Funnily enough he lined up for Ipswich Town against a Southampton side that included one of his Orient team mates.
Lloyd James was involved for the Saints, alongside the likes of Gareth Bale, Adam Lallana and Theo Walcott, and the 3-2 win on aggregate for the Tractor Boys is something still talked about in the O’s dressing room.
“The FA Youth Cup is the best competition you can win as a youngster. Lloydy was in the Southampton team, my Ipswich side beat in the final,” added Moore.
“I give him a bit of stick about that. I have definitely had a good bit of history in the FA Cup and hopefully we can get a win on Saturday and move into the second round.
“I want the best for the club and the fans as well so we will be doing our upmost on Saturday to put a strong performance in and reach the next round. Then hopefully we can get another good tie at home and we can make the third round.”
Moore will be coming up against some familiar faces this weekend as Staines are managed by Nicky Forster, a former team mate of the O’s ace.
The duo played together at Ipswich and the midfielder is also friends with Swans goalkeeper Jack Turner, who began his career at Wimbledon.
Having played non-league football for Dover Athletic as well as the Dons, Moore knows exactly what to expect from Staines on Saturday.
“They are what they are. They will be energetic and lively and will be coming to Brisbane Road for an upset. That is what the FA Cup is about - it gives the non-league teams an opportunity to beat the pros so we need to make sure we do a professional job on Saturday,” insisted Moore.
“I think Nicky has done well in management so he will have them right up for it. They won’t be coming to us for a draw, they’ll want a win. We need to make sure we are on it and we owe the fans a performance after last week and that’s what we will be doing.
“It is going to be difficult because Staines have some good players, but one to 11 we are better than them and we know that. Now we have to make sure we are mentally prepared going into the game and be right on it.”
A win on Saturday will add another fixture to the diary for Orient and Moore with November set to be a busy time for the midfielder.
His fiancé Naomi is expecting a baby girl later this month, but despite the former Wimbledon man preparing to become a Dad – he is staying focused on the pitch and upbeat about O’s current situation.
“My fiancé is due and it could come at any time now. I am waiting for someone to come out to the training field saying she has gone into labour so it is a good month for me,” said Moore.
“But it’s an important one for the club as well. We need to make sure we get back to winning ways starting tomorrow and there is no reason why we can’t do that. We are also two points off third place and in a good position in the league.
“There are a lot of teams that would like to be where we are right now so it is not all doom and gloom. There is good character at the club and the camp is in good spirits. We are going to go into Saturday’s game and put in a real good performance.”