Video: James McKeown wants Grimsby Town to 'follow York's lead' with league and FA Trophy success
JAMES McKeown wants Grimsby Town to "follow York's lead" when they kick-off their FA Trophy campaign tomorrow.
The Mariners goalkeeper was part of the team which made it to the quarter-finals of last year's competition.
Victories over Darlington, Hornchurch and Bath City saw Town through to the last eight before defeat to the Minstermen ended a run of ten wins in 11 matches in all competitions – and quashed Town's Wembley dream.
York went on to win the Trophy and clinch promotion back to the Football League via the play-offs.
And, ahead of Buxton's visit to Blundell Park in the first round of the Trophy tomorrow, McKeown wants the Mariners to use York's success last season as an example of what can be achieved.
He told the Telegraph: "If you had to choose between promotion or success in the FA Trophy then realistically it's got to be promotion.
"Luckily we don't have to choose, so it would be great to do both!
"There's no reason why we can't do well on both fronts, like York did last season. Look at the top teams in the country, they do it every year.
"We're all athletes and we're all fit, so we should be able to manage it."
The stopper, who has kept ten clean sheets so far this season behind Town's miserly defence, continued: "Last year we beat Darlington, Hornchurch and Bath.
"All of a sudden we were in a quarter-final and it dawned on us 'we're two games away from Wembley.'
"We went to Bath on a freezing Tuesday night and got through it, and we realised we had a chance to do something special.
"York obviously felt the same and went on to do something in the league and the cup.
"That game with York definitely affected us because we were on a really good run until then. That seemed to coincide with the end of the season where our campaign petered out a bit.
"It did knock us a bit – we lost 1-0 and it was game that could have gone either way.
"Hopefully the lads that were here can use that as a bit of motivation this time around."
The Trophy sees the country's top non-league clubs battle it out for a place in March's Wembley final and well over £100,000 in total prize money for the winners.
And while some may question the value of the competition, McKeown insists that the chance to play at perhaps the world's most famous stadium means it matters to the players.
"A few more wins and we could be heading to Wembley, which not many people get to do in their careers," the former Peterborough man added.
"It would be a great day out and gives us something else to look forward to.
"Wembley is just such a special place. I can't say for sure because I haven't done it but you must look back on it at the end of your career and think 'I've achieved something special there.'
"I can't imagine what walking out there would feel like to be honest. At the time you have to treat it like just another game of football but it's obviously much more than that.
"We would take a big following down there from Grimsby and it would be a great day I'm sure."
Martin McIntosh's Bucks currently occupy a mid-table position in the Northern Premier League table, but McKeown knows they will be no pushovers.
The 23-year-old said: "You see cup shocks all the time and if we don't apply ourselves then we could get turned over.
"It's a competition that you can do well in if you apply yourself, and at this moment in time we're the top team in the league so we're there to be shot at.
"It's a no-win situation in some ways because no one puts a lot of stock on the FA Trophy at this stage, and if we lose people will be asking questions.
"It will be tough because the Town fans will expect us to win 5-0 or 6-0. The bosses will expect us to go and dominate, and put another good performance in, and we will expect that of ourselves as well. We've got to be professional and do a job – if we do it right then I'm sure we'll win."
The Mariners head into the encounter aiming for a hat-trick of home victories, after last weekend's 3-0 win over Braintree followed their 5-1 thrashing of Woking.
The impact tomorrow's cup clash could have on Town's strong league form is a concern for McKeown.
"If we lose to Buxton we'll be going to Ebbsfleet the following Saturday on a real downer – you're only ever one game away from being rubbish," he said."
"We know what we can do within the camp, and know what we want to achieve this season, but it's about going out and proving it every week.
"You've got to maintain that high level of performance every game. There's no point winning 5-0 tomorrow and then losing at Ebbsfleet, and vice versa.
"It's about keeping that consistency – if we do that we'll have an excellent chance this season."