Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Richie Towell is relishing the prospect of fulfilling a childhood dream when he walks out at Wembley Stadium representing Rotherham United on Sunday afternoon.
The Millers face Shrewsbury Town in the Sky Bet League One play-off final at the national stadium, and the on-loan Albion man admitted that the chance to step out onto the world-famous turf is a special one.
He said, “I’ve never been to Wembley before so it’s exciting – I’ve seen all the games on TV over the years, but I’ve never been there.
“It’s always been a dream of mine since I was a young boy but I’ve tried to be calm and save myself for Sunday - all my family are coming over for the game and I think they’re more nervous than I am!
“Everyone has been asking how I’ve been feeling but it’s been a relatively normal week for me. That’s down to the way the manager has been – he’s tried to keep it low key – we haven’t gone and got suits or gone away or done anything out of the norm.
“We’ve just kept doing what we have been all season and we haven’t changed much – you shouldn’t try and fix what’s not broken so hopefully that stands us in good stead.”
Towell has been near enough ever-present for the side that finished 4th in the league in the 2017/18 campaign and having scored six goals in the process he reflected on what has been a highly successful season.
“When I first signed the main aim for me was to get games under my belt and play as much as I could to help the team.
“I wanted to help the side achieve what they were setting out to do - which was to finish in the top six and try to get promoted – we’ve done well but we also know that we haven’t achieved anything yet and we know we have to be focused on finishing the job.
“It’s a long season in the Football League, we’ve tried to carry our league form into the play-offs and the manager was keen for us to not treat the semi-finals against Scunthorpe United any differently.
“He hasn’t made many changes in the lead up to the play-offs because he wanted to keep the momentum in the last few games and that’s really kicked us on to perform.”
Paul Warne has been the man who has overseen Rotherham United’s attempt tp get back into the Championship at the first time of asking.
Having plied his trade under the Millers’ boss since making the move to the New York Stadium in August, Towell was full of praise for the job the manager had done so far this term.
“He’s been brilliant, and I’ve loved every minute of it – he’s put a lot of trust in me and probably sees me as one of the leaders of the team.
“I’ve played a lot of games and been successful, so it’s been really enjoyable. I’m settled in Sheffield and my family are content up here – that really does have a positive impact on the pitch.
“Normally it’s quite hard on loan because you have to move just as you’ve settled down. But my little girl has started nursery up here and it’s a nice area to live, it’s been a good experience for me and hopefully I can round it off with victory on Sunday.”