“IT was one of the best days of my life.” That’s how Stuart Whitehead describes leading Kidderminster Harriers out at Wembley for the FA Trophy final in 2007.
Harriers may have lost 3-2 to Stevenage on that occasion, the first final to be played in the new national stadium, but it is a memory the 36-year-old rightly cherishes.
Today, as captain of Worcester City, that will again be at the forefront of his mind in the third qualifying round match against Altrincham at St George’s Lane (3pm).
For Whitehead, there is no greater motivation than the prospect of a Wembley final and, although it is a long way off at this stage, he is determined City will be out to do their best in the competition.
“What makes the Trophy special is that the final is at Wembley,” he said. “It’s a chance for players at our level to play where everybody wants to and not many people are able to do that.
“It also brings money into the club so that’s the other incentive.
“It’s hard to win things so if you can get to the final and win the Trophy you can look back on it with pride and say you achieved something in your career.
“It was one of the best days of my life. I will always look back on that final. It was an amazing day.
“It was devastating to lose but, when I look back on it, I played in the first final at the new Wembley so it was a special occasion. It’s a fantastic place to play football and we are more than capable of getting there this year.”
Worcester will have to negotiate six rounds if they are to replicate Whitehead’s feat of five years ago and the first hurdle is a team eight places below them in Blue Square Bet North.
“There will be some tough games on the way and none more so than Altrincham,” the City skipper said.
“I know a lot of their players and they have immense firepower. I know what their strengths are and, on their day, they are a force to be reckoned with.
“They are a good team but so are we and we have more than matched anyone in our league although we should have done better in certain games. We don’t fear anyone.”