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Fixture News

Close Savouring Wembley Return

Midfielder watched the 2008 FA Cup final from the stands

29 March 2019

Ben Close
Photo: Joe Pepler/PinPep

The Checkatrade Trophy final will not be the first time that Ben Close has represented Pompey at Wembley.

Back in 2008, however, he was aged 11 and in the stands to watch them beat Cardiff and lift the FA Cup.

Now the midfielder is heading back there as part of the Blues squad and hoping to keep his place in the team against Sunderland on Sunday.

And with more than 80,000 fans of the competing clubs heading to the capital, Close is determined to savour the occasion.

He said: “I went to watch Pompey against Cardiff, but to go there as a player will be incredible and I honestly can’t wait.

“All those years ago I was watching from the stands and it’s the national stadium, so of course I’m looking forward to it.

"You certainly can’t take it for granted because it could be our only trip and we want to make the most of it."

Ben Close

“A lot of the lads have never played there before and some footballers will go through their whole career without going to Wembley.

“You certainly can’t take it for granted because it could be our only trip and we want to make the most of it.

“All the lads are buzzing and it’s something that’s obviously been in the back of our minds for a while now.

“The league games have had to take priority up to this point and we’ve thankfully been able to get some wins.

“But now our full focus is on going to Wembley and hopefully getting a positive result in the Checkatrade Trophy.”

Close knows that some members of the squad will be left disappointed when Kenny Jackett reveals his starting line-up.

He said: “The lads are training and playing well at the moment, while we don’t have too many injuries, so there’s a lot of competition to be in that team on Sunday.”

Due to staff working at Wembley on Sunday, supporters should note that the Anson Road ticket office will be closed on Monday. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

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