JAMES Ellison has completed a loan spell at Stalybridge Celtic and returned to Emirates FA Cup giantkillers Marine where he is dreaming of playing a part in their glamour tie against Premier League leaders Tottenham.
The 20-year-old left back believes his spell at Bower Fold will have enhanced his prospects of possibly having to defend against the likes of Harry Kane and Gareth Bale.
Ellison, whom was at Tranmere Rovers until then age of 18, said: “When I went to Stalybridge it was about getting game time and fitness as I had not played a full 90 minutes for some time through injury and other reasons.
“It was great to get seven games under my belt in the one-month loan with them.”
Ellison settled in well and it helped he knew assistant manager Ian Johnson with whom he worked at Marine last season.
He admitted it was strange being a Marine player but not involved in the recent cup exploits.
Ellison said: “I am made up for the club, though in some ways it was not nice as I wanted to be involved. What they have achieved is amazing.
“My challenge is to keep my head down, work hard and hopefully be selected for the FA Trophy game against Hyde, do well and keep my place.”Ellison added it will be difficult to break in the side as Marine have a very big squad with two players for every position.
“It is tough, not only for me but also for a number of other lads. You know if you get a chance, you have to take it to stay in the side,” he said.
Ellison was involved in the early rounds of the FA Cup, playing against Barnoldswick Town, Frickley Athletic and Runcorn Linnets, never realising how far Marine would progress.
“In fact, we nearly lost in our first game at Barnoldswick where we were 1-0 down with two minutes left and scored twice to snatch a 2-1 win,” he recalled.
Ellison, who lives in Toxteth, said there is a “massive buzz” on Merseyside about Marine’s exploits.
“When I am out and about I have heard people talking as much about Marine as my team, Liverpool. You couldn’t write that,” he said.
“It will be the biggest game in the club’s history and obviously I want to be involved.”
There have been whispers the cup tie might by switched to Anfield because tiny Rossett Park might not be able to stage such a high-profile game.
That would be a dream for Ellison, though he hopes the game will still be played at their ground in Crosby.
Ellison said: “It is going to be tough, but we have more of a chance at home.
“Tottenham will never have experienced anything like our ground, the narrow pitch which can be bobbly and the dugouts having homes directly behind them.”
• Former Celtic players Neil Kengni and Josh Solomon-Davies have appeared in Marine’s cup run.