Gavin Cogdon is dreaming of a fairytale Wembley double in South Shields’ date with destiny on Sunday.
Cogdon won the FA Vase with Spennymoor Town four years ago, scoring in the final at the national stadium.
Wembley is everything you imagine and dream it will beGavin Cogdon
It’s a day he will never forget, and has left him hungry for more.
A superb debut season with the Mariners sees Cogdon head to Wembley with 30 goals and three trophies under his belt already.
But he is far from done – and can’t wait to step onto the hallowed turf again.
The 34-year-old said: “Wembley is everything you imagine and dream it will be.
“It’s the biggest stage in football, and to get the chance to play there once was unbelievable for me. To now get the chance to do it again is a dream and I’m just counting down the days now.”
The Mariners are expected to be backed by more than 13,000 supporters at Wembley as they aim to cap off an incredible season in style.
They will be up against Cleethorpes Town, who themselves have won promotion in a stellar campaign.
It is likely that whichever team handles the occasion the better will come out on top, and Cogdon has insisted that – however difficult it may be – Shields have to treat it just like any other game.
He added: “It’s Wembley but it’s just a game of football, and we’ve got to remember that. We really want to win, but no matter what game it is, you want to win.
“You don’t want to be a loser at Wembley if you can help it, and that’s what we’ve got to put our minds to. We need to train hard over the next week to get ready for it and then on the day, do what we’ve done all season.”
The huge support Shields will enjoy – and have received all season – will be an added motivation, as if any more was needed.
Cogdon said: “The fact we’re going to have more than 10,000 fans there and the whole town is behind us makes it extra-special.
“You want to do it for yourself and your family, but also the people who have supported you throughout the season. It would mean the world for us to do it for them.
“This is a huge occasion, and you just have to see the reaction of Julio Arca, someone who has achieved so much, after our semi-final win to see what it means.
“No matter what level you play at, cup finals are huge things. For it to be at Wembley and for it to be the FA Vase, against the best teams in England at this level, makes it a big thing.”