CHARLIE WYKE has reason to bemoan his fortunes in the FA Cup.
Having been made to wait four years following his senior debut to enjoy a first taste of the world’s oldest knockout competition, the Middlesbrough-born player marked such an auspicious occasion by netting a hat-trick for Carlisle United against Welling United. His joy, however, would only last as long as it took to get home, where the striker discovered the family abode had been burgled. Among the items stolen was his father’s van, while Wyke’s Twitter account was also hacked by a mystery Russian company.
Everton was a bit different, as we lost 3-0 at home. I was on the bench but didn’t get on. Mind, neither did (Romelu) Lukaku – which is what I tell everyone when they ask, that neither of us was needed.Charlie Wyke
A month or so later more heartache lay in store as Carlisle, after seeing off Yeovil Town in the second round on penalties, landed a plum tie at home to Everton.
Wyke, unfortunately, never made it off the bench, which considering he had also missed out on facing Liverpool in the League Cup earlier in the season only added to his frustration.
As Bradford prepare to host League Two strugglers Chesterfield, therefore, it is no surprise the 24-year-old is hoping to take a step towards making that elusive first appearance against a big Premier League.
“We had Everton and Liverpool in the Cups but I missed out both times,” said the Bantams’ seven-goal top-scorer. “Missing them was a big blow and it would be great to have another crack at a big team with Bradford.
“Anfield was a big one to miss. I travelled with the team and it was a great day for the club. We drew 1-1 and only lost on penalties.
“But it was hard in the build-up. I knew all along I wouldn’t play because I had a fractured foot, I had suffered the injury three weeks before.
“Liverpool played a full strength team, too, and it would have been great to be involved. But that is how it can be in football. Everton was a bit different, as we lost 3-0 at home. I was on the bench, but didn’t get on. Mind, neither did (Romelu) Lukaku – which is what I tell everyone when they ask, that neither of us was needed.
“I am sure there will be opportunities in the future. But, first, we have to get through the first round and take a step closer to possibly facing any of the big boys.”
Chesterfield, rooted to the bottom of the Football League with a paltry nine points from 16 games, have already lost 4-2 to Bradford in the Checkatrade Trophy this season, but there will be no chance of Stuart McCall’s men resting on their laurels.
Not after the manner of last season’s first-round exit against Accrington Stanley on home soil.
“I watch the draw every year to see who we are playing,” added Wyke. “I wasn’t too bothered who we got, I just want to get through to the next round.”