Playing at the Amex will hold no fears for Whitehawk defender Osei Sankofa.

Not after treading the turf at places like Old Trafford and the Emirates.

Sankofa, 30, is expected to be at the heart of Whitehawk’s defence for today’s Sussex Senior Cup final against Lewes at Albion’s home.

While the occasion will be special for the 30-year-old, he will not be daunted by the venue as much as some of the players on view.

Sankofa came through the ranks at Charlton Athletic to play in the Premier League, making his breakthrough in 2002-03 and staying at the Valley until 2008 when he joined Southend.

An England age group international at every level up to under-20, Sankofa made his Charlton debut at Old Trafford in May 2003 against a Manchester United side featuring the likes of David Beckham, Roy Keane, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs.

He also played against Arsenal at the Emirates in January 2007 in a game where he was sent off for a tackle on Robin van Persie.

Although he never quite reached the heights some predicted, Sankofa recalls fondly his time at Charlton, where he is still involved in an academy coaching role.

He told The Argus: “I was at Charlton for ten years and I look back still with very fond memories.

“You can go back to all the youth tournaments that we won, the famous FA Youth Cup run when we got to the semi-final which was a high for the club. No one has ever done better than that at Charlton Athletic.

“I also made my debut playing against Manchester United in the Premier League at 18 years old.

“There are many highlights and I’m just lucky that I have had that experience – and I’m still a part of the club as a coach with the under-10s in the academy.”

Sankofa joined Whitehawk from Ebbsfleet last summer and has thoroughly enjoyed his first season at the club.

He helped the Hawks reach the play-off final, before losing to Boreham Wood away last Saturday, and has been part of a team which has played some sparkling football along the way.

That has been important to Sankofa, who was brought up in the right way.

He said: “I have been involved in football for quite a number of years and this is one of the most talented groups I have ever been a part of.

“A lot of the boys here have played at a higher level. I was brought up playing academy football at at Premier League club so it is the way I have been brought up to play.

“It is a pleasure just to be at the back, give the ball to the boys in midfield and watch them pass the ball around.

“No one can argue we have been the best footballing side in the division. That doesn’t always reap the rewards that you want but no one can deny the way we play and winning the Senior Cup would be a nice way to finish the season.”