Barnsley’s in-form winger Lloyd Isgrove knows exactly how it feels to play at Wembley.
The Southampton loan star tasted the sweet success of lifting the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy under the famous arch on a previous spell at Peterborough United.
The Reds face off against Fleetwood Town today in the first leg of the Northern Area final at Oakwell, and Isgrove is desperate to help his side earn a dream trip to the home of football.
“The lads have been saying we probably won’t get a better chance to get to Wembley,” said the Welsh U21 international.
“We’re really looking forward to this one and hopefully we can give something back to the fans and get a trip to Wembley.
“Some players don’t ever get the chance to play there in their career so it’s definitely one to look forward to.
“I was on loan at Peterborough and played in the JPT final and won it so that was a good experience for me.
“I got a taste then and I know what it feels like. I’m playing here now so it would be great to get there with Barnsley.
“It’s a one-off thing where you just take it as it comes and just enjoy the day, enjoy the match and hope you win. You don’t want to be a loser at Wembley.”
Isgrove has been in fine form in the last two games in particular, with the Reds recording back-to-back home wins in the league.
And while he acknowledges the threat that Fleetwood pose, he is confident that Barnsley can put themselves in pole position for the second leg next month.
“They beat us here and that was my first game. We know they’re going to be tough opposition and we’re going to have to play our very best to beat them.
“If we just play how we have done for the last two games here and the fans get behind us I think we’ll be all right.”
New recruit Ashley Fletcher is relishing the chance to throw himself right into the firing line this afternoon after joining on loan from Manchester United this week.
The powerful forward could go straight into the starting line-up with Marley Watkins expected to miss out due to an ankle injury.
“I’m looking forward to it,” said Fletcher. “Having trained with the lads I’ve seen the quality they can bring. I’ll be looking to form a good partnership with Sam Winnall up front.”
Reds boss Lee Johnson was nominated for December’s League One manager of the month award, but the gong was given to Sheffield United boss Nigel Adkins yesterday.
Barnsley completed the permanent signing of winger Aidan White after his release from Rotherham United.
White had been on loan at Oakwell but has now signed a permanent contract until the end of the season.
Meanwhile forward Mike Phenix, recently released by Barnsley, has joined Southport on a short-term deal, having spent the first half of the season on loan with the Sandgrounders.