Torquay players walking around the ground

Charlton defender talks life on loan and playing Derby in the FA Cup

The FA Cup is one of the highlights of English football as teams up and down the footballing pyramid are given the chance to battle against one another.

SEL spoke to defender Lucas Ness, who currently plies his trade for Torquay United, on loan from Charlton, about his FA Cup journey so far and his time loaned out down south.

It was a challenging start to life at Torquay for Ness as The Gulls took on league leaders Notts County in his first game with the club, before welcoming Derby to Plainmoor in the FA Cup.

The FA Cup tie was not one for the faint-hearted, as Torquay booked a replay against Derby with a 95th minute equaliser.

Ness explained: “It was actually mental. Although I’ve not had a particularly long career just yet, it was probably one of the best moments I’ve ever experienced and I didn’t even score the goal!

“As the goal went in, turning around and just seeing the fans, a few of them got on the pitch and there was a bundle that Will Goodwin and I were at the bottom of.

“Everyone was just piling on, hugging you, telling you that they love you and it was just amazing.”

KIT: Lucas Ness’ Torquay United shirt in the dressing room pre-match

They lost the replay 5-0 in the Midlands, but Derby are a team who have plenty of history and a very strong squad despite playing in Sky Bet League One.

Ness said: “It is such a big ground and a club with so much history.

“David McGoldrick has played in the Premier League against some of the world’s best players and here he is playing against me, it just shows how the FA Cup can bring National League and League One sides together for a game.

“We knew we weren’t going to be favourites going into the game, but we just wanted to see what we could do to try and replicate the first tie.

“It sadly didn’t work out like that but playing there was amazing. It was on TV and we brought around 1,000 fans which is a credit to them because it’s a journey for a Tuesday night.

“The fans are amazing, even at the end of the game we had lost 5-0, we went over to the fans to applaud them, and they were applauding us.

“It was a really touching moment seeing they appreciate us and we appreciate them.”

The young defender placed a lot of emphasis on how ‘clever’ players like James Collins and McGoldrick are, highlighting the challenges it created for him forcing him to ‘switch on’ and adjust to the levels that these sorts of players maintain.

At the age of 20, Ness had to move away from home just three days prior to his first match.

Ness explained: “I had to get all my stuff packed up and moved out.

“It was a new thing for me as I’ve always lived at home and the deal moved very quickly.

“The boys and coaching staff have made me feel so welcomed which has made it much easier to settle in.

“The feelings were the same as when I went on loan to Hampton and Richmond last season as I was anxious to start, with the added reminder that home is now three and a half hours away.”

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