Striker eager to help Stoke lift The FA Cup for first-ever time.
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The full interview with Jon Walters is in the official FA Cup Final matchday programme (see below for further details)
Should you need proof that The FA Cup makes dreams come true, look no further than Stoke City striker, Jon Walters.
The Irishman scored twice in the 5-0 dismissal of Bolton in the Semi-Final, but he owed his place at Wembley in the first place to a slice of Cup luck followed by a Third Round tie in January 2007 that together changed the direction of his career.
“I had a bit of fortune at Chester,” explains Walters. “We were beaten in The FA Cup by Bury, but The FA found they had fielded an ineligible player and they were thrown out. We got through to the next round against Ipswich Town and I ended up moving there after the replay because I performed so well. You could say The Cup’s been good to me over the years. Hopefully it will be kind to me one more time in The Final.”
Walters has certainly been kind to the Stoke fans since his arrival from Ipswich and has scored a number of crucial goals for the Potters, perhaps none more so than his curler against Bolton, yet he remains modest about that particular strike.
“I think every goal’s the same whether it’s in a park or in front of 80,000 people,” he said. “I guess scoring [at Wembley] is a different sort of emotion, hard to describe, a one-off. It’s such a big occasion and it’s great that all your family are here – you make a lot of people proud."
Standing between Stoke and a maiden FA Cup triumph is the might and the wealth of Manchester City, but Walters has promised to do what he can to bring the Cup back to the Potteries for the first-ever time.
“It’s going to be even more of an ask than it was against Bolton,” he predicted. “The City players are all used to the big stage, they’re multi-million pound internationals. They’re big boys, too. [Joleon] Lescott, [Vincent] Kompany are huge lads, just like most of their team. Kompany especially is having such a good year for them, so it will be a tough day whether I’m selected up front, just behind or on the left or right. If I’m lucky enough to start I’ll give my all.”Pick up your copy of the official programme at Wembley Stadium priced at £10, with £1 per copy donated to official FA Charity Partner Action for Children, or alternatively you can buy it from selected Tesco and WHSmith retail and travel outlets and other supermarkets and independent stores.
There will also be a digital version available to buy online from Saturday morning here
.You can also buy the match programme online here.