A FOOTBALLER from Penryn will experience the match of his life on Sunday when he plays in the first round of the FA Cup at Charlton Athletic.

Cody Cooke has started all 17 matches for Truro City this season and will be desperate to be in the eleven that take to the field at The Valley for the 2pm kick-off against their high-flying League 1 opponents.

"There'll be a few sleepless nights this week. I just can't wait to get out there, we've got nothing to lose and everything to gain," said the 24 year-old teacher.

Falmouth Town were the last Cornish club to reach the first round proper back in 1969 and FA Cup fever has been ignited again almost half a century on.

"It's been a hectic couple of weeks, with something new happening all the time. First we qualified, then it was the draw and since then there's been a huge amount of media interest."

Cooke is something of a poster boy for City, as he is the only Cornish player in the current squad.

It's an incredible turnaround in fortunes for the 6ft 1ins midfielder, who was sidelined for six months with a hernia last season.

"This time last year I was about a month into the injury - it was the worst year I've had as a player. I felt fine from one day to the next but I was in agony if I tried to run and kick a ball.

"To think that I've made 17 out of 17 starts this year and to now be playing at Charlton in the FA Cup is amazing."

Cody has around 20 friends and family making the trip to south east London on Sunday, but he will travel with the team on Saturday.

"We often have long away trips in the league so to stay overnight before the game isn't unusual. It'll be interesting to see how the manager approaches it but together with his assistant they have great experience, so they'll set up our shape to give us the best chance."

Cooke has played at Doncaster Rovers and Plymouth Argyle before, but Charlton's stadium can hold more than 27,000 supporters.

They currently lie in fourth spot and are unbeaten for seven matches in League 1.

Realistically City face a monumental task if they are to take anything from Sunday's game, but Cooke and his team mates will not be going to make up the numbers.

"We've got plenty of lads with Football League experience and that will be a great help from our point of view. It'll be about how we deal with it on the day but I'm sure our fans will be right behind us - the FA Cup is something everyone relates to," said Cooke, who used to play for Penryn Athletic.

There are first round ties on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday and if City can produce a giant killing, their weekend will doubtless go on even longer.