Smalling is keen to play his part in helping the Reds seal a first triumph since 2004.
"The competition holds a very high status for me," the defender told this month's Inside United.
"When you're growing up you see a lot of the lower league teams and sides from around your area playing against some of the bigger teams in the competition. And it gives every kid and every young player a chance to feel that they can be a part of it and that they can relate to the FA Cup because anybody can take part.
"I played in some of the qualifying rounds. You have to play quite a few qualifiers to even get to the first round of the Cup when you're in the lower leagues. I recall we were close to playing a League Two side, but lost in the fourth qualifying round.
"It's a competition that I'm very fortunate to be a part of, whether with Maidstone or Manchester United.
"Rio's been here for more than 10 years and never won it, so the manager is making sure we all want to win it, and we want to win it for ourselves as well."