Smith eager to face Man United legends

Crawley Town midfielder Ben Smith is excited by the possibility of competing against some of his footballing idols when his team takes on Manchester United in Saturday's FA Cup Fifth Round tie.

The Blue Square Bet Premier side have been rewarded for their amazing cup run with a draw against the Premier League leaders at Old Trafford, and Smith is hopeful of facing some of his favourite players - notably boyhood heroes Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes.

"I've grown up admiring Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs. The expression is over-used, but they are living legends," the 32-year-old says in United's matchday programme ahead of their FA Cup clash with Crawley Town.

"I'd love to face Scholes in midfield. He's like a quarterback in the way he sprays the ball around. I just hope I don't end up getting one of his 'Welcome to Old Trafford' tackles!"

Smith is also eager to get his hands on a shirt from United centre-half Rio Ferdinand, who won't feature on Saturday due to injury.

The two played against each other as youngsters, and the former Hereford United and Yeovil Town playmaker was hopeful of resuming his rivalry with the England international on Saturday.

"I played against him a lot in district football as a kid, and then as a youth player ­ when I was at Arsenal and he was a midfielder at West Ham. He stood out like a sore thumb back then, he was so good," he says.

"I don't think he'll remember me, but I'll say hello later."

Read the Ben Smith interview in full in Saturday's edition of United Review ahead of the Red Devils' FA Cup Fifth Round tie with Crawley Town at Old Trafford, priced at £3 in and around the ground. To subscribe, call 08456 777801 or visit

By Liam Twomey

NEWS: Ferguson's matchday programme notes NEWS: Lindegaard learning from Van der Sar experience