Jamie O'Hara is hoping to live his dream of playing at Wembley on Friday evening.
England v Portugal
UEFA European U21 Championship Group 3 Qualifier
7.45pm, Friday 5 September 2008
Jamie O’Hara is relishing the chance to fulfil a lifetime’s dream and play his first ever game at Wembley on Friday night.
O’Hara was part of the Tottenham squad which played against Chelsea in the Carling Cup Final back in February, but was not named among the substitutes and had to cheer from the stands as his side went onto record a memorable 2-1 victory.
The midfielder is now hoping to go one stage further and play for his country at Wembley for the England Under-21s against Portugal – a night he will always remember for the rest of his career.
O’Hara, speaking at the Bedfordshire FA's Refereeing School of Excellence said: “It will be my first game at Wembley. I missed out on the Carling Cup Final so it will be great to go back there and hopefully be involved in the game. It will be a dream come true.
“It was one of those things and I couldn’t fault not being involved. I had made my breakthrough and it was a dream for me to play for Tottenham. Obviously it was a sad day but I was just happy that the lads won the trophy.
“Wembley is unbelievable and even better than you think when you get there. I went to see the England game against Croatia and I said to my dad that I would love to play here one day.
“It was only a couple of months later that I had the chance to play there. Hopefully this time I can get out on the pitch and it will be a special moment for me.”
O’Hara has become a settled member of the Tottenham squad now and is hoping to show his potential for both club and country this season.
The Spurs squad is filled with top class international players and O’Hara admits he is relishing the chance to play alongside some of the best players in Europe.
One player who O’Hara particularly looks up to is Jermaine Jenas who has made his breakthrough into the England squad and has shown what is needed to become a regular member in the senior squad.
“I look up to JJ a lot," admitted O'Hara. "He is the vice-captain at Tottenham and had a great year last season. I feel if I can take things from what he has achieved and look at what he has done, I feel I can make the step up to the seniors.
“I think this is a massive year for me. I have got to be patient because the manager has bought some fantastic players. I have got to keep proving to him that I am worthy of a start and when the opportunity arises I have got to take my chances."
Although the England Under-21s have virtually guaranteed their place in the Championship play-offs later this year, O’Hara admits they are determined to beat Portugal and stop one of their major rivals qualifying for the European Championship Finals.
“Hopefully we will get a big crowd. It is only £10 a ticket so it will be nice to get a big crowd and cheer the lads on because it is a fantastic game to have at Wembley. It will be a high standard of football and it should be a great occasion.
“The aim is to beat Portugal on Friday and knock one of the big nations out of the tournament all together. We could try and get a point, but I don’t think that is the way the gaffer wants us to play.
“He wants us to win every game we are involved in and the lads have been fantastic since I have been involved. The way he wants us to play is brilliant and I think we have got a great chance of winning it next year and hopefully I can be a part of it.”
TICKET DETAILS v PORTUGAL
If you haven't already got your ticket, then they can still be purchased from the East ticket booth at Wembley from 12 noon on Friday and payment can be made with either cash or card.
Tickets can also be purchased via a fast track entry into the stadium at turnstile M from 5:45pm. Payment here is by cash only.
All tickets available will be £10 Adult and £5 concession.