Having reached one FA Cup final before in his career, Joe Ledley is hoping that he can go one step further this time round and get his hands on the famous trophy whilst donning the red and blue stripes of Crystal Palace.
Ledley was a part of the Cardiff City side that were beaten by Portsmouth in the 2008 final at Wembley, and having been a part of a great underdog run to the final before it gives him hope going into this FA Cup campaign that teams like Palace can defy the odds and have their name engraved on the cup for the first time.
Palace take on Southampton tomorrow aiming to knock one of the favourites out of the fifth round draw and reach that stage for the first time in five years. Despite the cup having plenty of its detractors over recent years, it is refreshing to hear Ledley's admiration for the competition and his desire to add a winner's medal to his runners up one.
On the run to the final in 2008, he said: “It was fantastic, we managed to scrape through the semi-final so to reach the final was a massive honour. Not many players get the opportunity to play in an FA Cup and for me it was one of the biggest achievements of my life.
“It's a great competition to play in and to have won it would have been brilliant and on another day we would have done that, but we have another opportunity now so hopefully we can make the final.
“It's one of the best competitions and it's a great opportunity for some clubs to make money and play against Premier League teams. You always want to see an upset in the FA Cup and for me that's what we did at Cardiff as no-one expected us to make the final and it proved that anyone can do it.”
Ledley has been a key cog in the Palace engine over recent weeks with Mile Jedinak away representing Australia in the Asian Cup, but despite remaining undefeated since his absence the Welshman admits that he team is missing its influential leader.
“I've been sitting in midfield and breaking things up which Mile does brilliantly and has done since I've been here,” he added. “He's a fantastic player and I think we are missing him and I look forward to getting him back.
“At the moment things are going pretty well and we're happy with our results and we just need to continue. It's always good when you end up a couple of games undefeated as it brings out good momentum in the team and you just want to keep going and keep playing.”
To see more of this interview with Joe, including him talking about his now-trademark beard, watch the video below: