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Cherries: James relives FA Cup memories
ASK David James for his greatest FA Cup memory and the answer is simple – “winning it!”
His moment of glory came in 2008 when a goal from Kanu helped Portsmouth to victory over Cardiff at Wembley.
Two years later, James, at 39, became the oldest goalkeeper to appear in the final and was forced to settle for a third runners-up medal after a goal from Didier Drogba earned Chelsea a 1-0 win over Pompey.
His big day also ended in defeat in 1996 when a solitary strike from Eric Cantona saw Manchester United topple Liverpool, while Roberto Di Matteo did likewise for Chelsea in 2000 when James donned the colours of Aston Villa.
However, while Wembley may have become something of a second home for James, the former England stopper is keen to explore uncharted territory and pen a new chapter in his illustrious career on Saturday.
James, who has made 58 appearances in the famous competition for Watford, Liverpool, Villa, West Ham, Manchester City, Portsmouth and Bristol City, is hoping to make his first-round debut when Cherries host Dagenham & Redbridge.
Speaking exclusively to the Daily Echo, the 42-year-old joked: “Someone in the changing room asked a couple of weeks ago when the FA Cup started and I said January!”
He added: “The high for me was winning it in 2008 with Portsmouth. We had a fantastic run and only conceded one goal, at home to Plymouth in a 2-1 win. Every other game finished 1-0.
“We played one Premier League team, which was Manchester United at Old Trafford in the fifth round, and, in some senses, that was probably our cup final because it is arguably the toughest game you will get.
“Losing with Liverpool in 1996 was disappointing and not just because of the result. We had won the League Cup the year before and it was like a tradition for Liverpool to go to Wembley and to usually be successful.
“But I don’t think Peter Schmeichel had to make a save in the game. I have got his shirt at home, which I swapped, and there was no mud on it!
“It was similar in 2000 against Chelsea, although it was Aston Villa’s first FA Cup final for more than 50 years. Their goalkeeper Ed De Goey didn’t have a lot to do and I think I tested him most with a header in the last minute.”
James has also been on the receiving end of a couple of shocks, with Cherries team-mate Matt Tubbs this week reminding him of his winner for Crawley against Bristol City in last season’s third round. He also went out at the same stage at the hands of Oldham while playing for Manchester City in 2005.
“I have buried that one deep in my psyche!” laughed James. “It happens in the FA Cup. You play teams from outside your division and there are opportunities for giant-killing. It is all part of the nostalgia.
“The agenda for some of the Premier League clubs is different to that of the teams going through the early rounds. Oldham versus Manchester City was one of those and, unfortunately, we had a different agenda.”
James added: “If selected, it will be the first time I have played in the first round. If not, it will be the first time I will have been involved in a first-round tie.
“With the form we are in at the moment, we would probably be favourites against anyone in the first round at home. The manager has got us in a good place and the chaps are feeling very confident.”