Michael Leary dreams of Wembley homecoming with Gainsborough Trinity
Talismanic Gainsborough Trinity skipper Michael Leary is finally closing in on his dream date at Wembley.
The Blues midfielder used to drive past the legendary stadium every day, but has previously been restricted to admiring glances and faint hopes.
Now Leary is closing in on a Wembley appearance, with only a two-legged FA Trophy semi-final against Wrexham standing in his way.
"I was brought up round the corner from Wembley in a place called Greenford, which is 10 minutes away," said Leary, who scored the opener in the Blues 2-0 win over Barrow in the quarter-final on Tuesday night at the Northolme.
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"I used to drive past Wembley every day. It is an awesome, fantastic stadium.
"It would be a dream come true if we can get there.
"All my mates and my family are down there so they would all come to the game, it would be a fantastic day out.
"But first we have to beat Wrexham.
"We have to try and look at that game first before we think about Wembley."
The 29-year-old was instrumental as Trinity took another giant leap towards the FA Trophy final at the national stadium with a 2-0 quarter-final win against Barrow on Tuesday evening.
Leary scored the opener as the Blues earned a two-goal first half lead against the Blue Square Premier outfit.
Luke Waterfall was the other Trinity player on target, with both goals coming from free-kicks taken by Terry Hawkridge.
The Trinity skipper had missed out on last Saturday's Lincolnshire derby against Boston, but was delighted to be thrown back in at the deep end.
"The adrenalin got me up to the pace very quickly," Leary said.
"It was a quarter-final of the FA Trophy. I was gutted to miss last Saturday's game but I was happy that the gaffer has thrown me straight back in.
"We have done the job to be fair. First half I thought we played very well and in the second, they chucked everything at us but we managed to keep a clean sheet. I think we gave a good account of ourselves."
Trinity's win over Barrow was the third Blue Square Premier scalp taken by Steve Housham's side on their way to the FA Trophy semi-final, an encouraging statistic as the Blues are also chasing a Blue Square North play-off place.
"I think it goes to show that we can compete at that level," Leary added.
"We were so close at the end of last season, making the play-off final. If we put our minds to it we can hold our own in the league above."