The Blades were drawn against AFC Fylde in the FA Cup yesterday as the magic of the cup proved still alive.
Chris Wilder’s men will play host to the National League side in what is a fairytale story. Fylde will have been hoping for a big tie as reward for their cup exploits so far. Indeed, they have got that reward, with the Blades now a Premier League outfit and a high-flying one at that.
It represents a chance for the Fylde players to pit their wits against the Blades and take a big scalp. The financial rewards will be there too, with potential TV coverage and a place in the fourth round at stake.
Fylde have a number of former Blades in the ranks too. One of those former players is defender, Andy Taylor. The left-footer was part of the Blades squad relegated to League One and he told the Sheffield Star he’s looking forward to coming back to the Lane.
“There were mixed memories for me having played in the Championship before getting a really bad injury,” Taylor said.
“But it’s one I look back on with great fondness, playing at that level in a great stadium. There’s always an upset, so you never know, we’ll be confident, positive and will give a good account of ourselves.”
Who else will line up for Fylde who Blades fans might recognise?
There’s a small contingent of players in the Fylde squad who Sheffield United fans will have memories of.
Along with Taylor, the non-league outfit also have Danny Philliskirk and Mark Yeates on the books. Coincidentally, both those players were also part of the squad with Taylor which was relegated to League One.
Yeates played over 30 games that season and actually did ok in the main. He scored five goals from the wing and was one of few United players to be a constant threat throughout the season. Philliskirk, on the other hand, had a bit of a nightmare spell at Bramall Lane.
The former Chelsea man made just a solitary appearance for the Blades and was soon farmed out on loan to Oxford before being released in 2013.
However, with the magic of the FA Cup still alive, there’s little doubt all three will be relishing their return to the Blades in January with AFC Fylde.