As Adam Collin prepares to make his third Wembley appearance in five years, the Rotherham United goalkeeper knows he will be cheered on by his loved ones.
His friends and family will be travelling from Great Salkeld, near Penrith, to the national stadium in a mini-bus on Sunday for the Millers encounter with Leyton Orient in the League One Play-Off final.
“There are a lot of people coming from back home,” revealed Collin. “It is nice to have their support. You can see them when you walk out on to the pitch. It’s nice to know they are there.”
Promotion is the prize at stake for Rotherham and Leyton Orient this weekend and Collin readily admits it will be “by far and away” the biggest match of his career.
The 29-year-old, previously of Carlisle United, feels the New Year’s Day loss to Coventry was the turning point in their season.
He said: “We were pretty poor against them but since then we have turned the corner. We’ve put a great run of results together and been consistent over a long period of time and that pushed us up the league.”
Orient ended up third in League One, finishing above Steve Evans’ side only on goal difference.
Collin said: “We’ve been solid throughout the team. Obviously we score a lot of goals. I think at times, like with Peterborough away, we’ve had to dig in and grind out a result. We’ve had to fight and scrap. We’ve been hard to beat and fought to the end.”
If Rotherham go up, it will be their second successive promotion under Evans.
“He [Evans] is what he is and he gets results,” said Collin. “He’s got a great record. This is my first year at Rotherham and I’ve enjoyed it immensely and I’m just grateful he has brought me in and given me a chance in the team.”