Sweet dreams for a player on the rise again

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FROM selling confectionary to being like a kid in a sweet shop. George Boyd’s rise from part-time football to a possible FA Cup final appearance truly is the stuff of dreams.

A non-League player until the age of 21, Boyd has enjoyed a meteoric rise that has taken him through all five divisions of English football.

Today could well be the pinnacle. Then again, that has been said a few times about a player whose progress couldn’t even be slowed by an infamous failed medical over poor eyesight.

“It is amazing how my career keeps on going up,” said the 28-year-old. “The last year has been unreal. Just playing in the Premier League would have been enough for me, but things have just kept happening.

“To play in an FA Cup final would be incredible. And then there would be Europe. What a thing to be able to tick off the list next season that would be.

“It is crazy, as things just get better and better.”

City are, indeed, guaranteed at least a crack at qualifying for next season’s Europa League. And when Boyd takes to the fields of the continent, he will surely cast his mind back to the days that followed release by Charlton Athletic.

For a couple of years, he combined a semi-pro deal at then non-League outfit Stevenage with working in a sweet shop at Hitchin train station.

On the rapid progression he has enjoyed since those days, Boyd said: “I am going to have to think of more goals that I want to achieve. Maybe try and get in the Euros with Scotland in a couple of years, I just don’t know.

“Everything just seems to be happening to me and it is crazy. I don’t have time to sit down and think about what has happened this season.

“Maybe I will in the summer, I just don’t know. But if I do get the chance to face Arsenal, I will feel very proud.”

When interviewed by The Yorkshire Post in January, Boyd revealed that his only decent memory of the FA Cup was a goal he once scored for Stevenage against Northampton Town in a 2-2 second round draw. And even then Borough lost the replay.

Boyd laughs at the memory before adding: “I have had a few new memories in the Cup, that’s for sure.

“Playing at Wembley was a dream come true, but this one will be even bigger.”