Norwich City academy product Sam Habergham relishing his time in the FA Cup spotlight with Lincoln
The magic of the FA Cup may have worn off for some of the country's biggest clubs but a Norwich City academy product is helping prove the old competition can still have its moments.
Sam Habergham was released by the Canaries as a 19-year-old in 2011 but is now in the thick of a remarkable run to the fifth round of the FA Cup with Lincoln City.
The left-back was with Norwich for over a decade but never made a senior appearance, despite being named on the substitutes' bench for Championship games.
After his release the Yorkshireman, brought up in Great Ellingham, near Attleborough, played in the top tier of non-league for Tamworth initially before playing for Braintree for four seasons.
He suffered play-off heartbreak with the Essex side last season but followed management duo Danny and Nicky Cowley to Lincoln in the summer and has played a key part in a superb season.
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The Imps are top of the National League, through to the FA Trophy quarter-finals and preparing for tomorrow's trip to Premier League side Burnley.
'At the moment it's going really well,' Habergham said. 'We've been doing well in the league, the cup run has been nice and we're still in the FA Trophy as well so we're still fighting on three fronts and the buzz around the whole city at the moment is really good.
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'We're getting some really big crowds, we've had a couple of sell-outs already this season and everyone involved has been really good.
'I don't think when I signed in the summer I'd have thought we would do what we've done so far but we're only part way through the season, we've got some really good games to come to hopefully push us in the way we want.'
The full-back turns 25 years old on Monday and is relishing his chance on the big stage, with Saturday lunchtime's game at Turf Moor being broadcast live on BT Sport.
'For teams like us in the National League, it's a great opportunity for us to play against teams throughout the whole of English football,' he continued.
'For Sutton to do it as well in the same season, it's good to show how good teams and players are in the National League and players that can play at a higher level.'