While the Papa John’s Trophy remains a much disputed competition, following a changing of the rules which allowed Premier League and Championship clubs to enter their U21’s, Lee harbours fond memories of this competition as a player with Doncaster Rovers.
The former Pools defender grabbed an extra-time winner back in 2007 as Doncaster beat Bristol Rovers 3-2 at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium to lift what was then known as the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, and the 43-year-old would love to enjoy a similar experience as a manager with Pools this season.
Lee’s side welcome Charlton Athletic to the Suit Direct Stadium with a place in the semi-final up for grabs after they overcame another League One side in Bolton Wanderers in the previous round earlier this month.
And it is an occasion he believes his players should relish as they look to move within one win of a trip to Wembley Stadium.
“For any player having these moments should be something to look forward to,” said Lee.
“I’ve been there and done it. It was an unbelievable day and for me, winning that was one of the highlights of my career.
“I had many promotions but that moment at the Millennium Stadium, it was an amazing day and if we can replicate that for Hartlepool then wow. We’ll jump all over it.
“I know what it’s all about and we’ll be giving everything we can.
“It’s another great challenge for us and another great night to look forward to.”