The magic of the Emirates FA Cup will have an additional sprinkle on Saturday evening for a certain Mariner should he take to the field against Burton Albion under the Blundell Park lights.
That man is Harry Clifton, the Town youth product who currently sits on 199 club appearances. The 24-year-old has come a long way since making his debut in the black and white stripes in August 2017.
Reflecting on his journey so far, Clifton admitted his pride at reaching the landmark with the Club. “When you sit back and think about what it’s taken to get to this point, it’s fairly satisfying. It’s been a rollercoaster ride but to get to 200 games for your hometown club, especially at the age of 24, is quite satisfying.”
Knowing that the milestone has been fast approaching, the midfielder revealed that he’s been regularly checking the matchday programme to keep track ahead.
“I see the programme keeps tallying it up and it’s been my little thing that I do before a game. I noticed I was getting close a few weeks ago and I actually thought it was going to be the New Year’s Day game if I kept playing. Obviously, the Mansfield game got called off a few weeks ago so now it ends up being this FA Cup game. It’s the Third Round, it’s a big game so it’s fallen quite nicely there.”
Sharing his journey with the club, Clifton also spoke about being a role model to the academy players who are following in his footsteps.
“I’ve been coming through these gates at Cheapside since I left school since the age of sixteen. That’s eight years and it’s taken a lot of hard work.
“I think that, when you’re young, you don’t feel like a role model but then when you look back at what you are doing and playing 200 professional games for Grimsby after coming through the Academy… I hope I am an inspiration for the lads there to show that it is possible with hard work and dedication. That’s a big one for me.”
You can join us at Blundell Park for what could be Harry’s landmark appearance against Burton Albion tomorrow evening with tickets available online HERE.