Bromley v Wrexham
The Buildbase FA Trophy
4.15pm, Sunday 22 May 2022
Wembley Stadium connected by EE
Live on BT Sport in the UK
This season’s Buildbase FA Trophy Final will have a sprinkle of stardust as Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney hope their first full season in charge of Wrexham can end with glory at Wembley Stadium connected by EE.
But standing in their way are fellow National League side Bromley, whose manager Andy Woodman is well-versed when it comes to finals at Wembley Stadium.
Let’s hear from some key figures from both clubs ahead of Sunday’s Final.
Phil Parkinson - Wrexham
"Having Ryan Reynolds at the semi-final, and the TV documentary really latching onto this Wembley appearance, means that there’s a massive amount of excitement in the town. It will be incredible to see so many of our supporters in the stands at Wembley.
"The opportunity to play at Wembley doesn’t come around very often. Some players, some managers never get the chance to go there. A lot of supporters will say that their ambition is to see their team play there. You can’t ever devalue a trip to Wembley and the chance to play at the most iconic football stadium in the world.
"I took Bradford City to the League Cup Final there in 2013, which was an incredible experience. Obviously, the final didn’t go too well for us [with a 5-0 defeat to Swansea City] but we were up against an outstanding team. What it did for the city, though, was incredible. You could feel what it did for the city of Bradford.
"Now I’m hugely proud to take this Wrexham side there too.
"After some really tough years, the supporters have really built a connection with this team. We’ve instilled a real work ethic into the lads and the fans have responded to that by backing us home and away. The supporters know that they’ve got genuine owners who want to build a club properly. A project like this doesn’t happen overnight but slowly and surely everything is being put in place. We’re going to have a sound structure at this club for years to come.
"Where is the club now in comparison to where it was a year ago? It’s a long, long way ahead. Our supporters have been there throughout the tough times, now it’s great to have the chance to give them something back. I hope they have a fantastic day."
Andy Woodman - Bromley
"This is a special day, not just for the players and the staff or everyone involved at Wembley, but for the supporters that will be coming in such massive numbers to the game.
"It will be a very proud moment for me personally, leading that team out at Wembley, a real honour for someone who represents the area and the community of Bromley – a place that I’ve grown up very close to.
"The magnitude of what it meant really dawned on me before that semi-final against York. It became absolutely clear just how important this is, not just for the club itself, but also for the community. I think it has really given everyone a lift.
"This time last year, I was watching my son [Freddie] play in a play-off final against Brentford and it was bizarre being at Wembley with hardly anyone in the ground. Wembley is a glorious place when it’s full – a special place and a great place for these boys because a lot of them have never played there before. It’s an occasion that will remain with them for the rest of their careers.
"Personally, I’ve obviously got hugely fond memories of the place. My great friend Gareth Southgate obviously has Wembley as his home ground now he’s manager of England, but he reminded me recently that we were both ball boys there for an FA Trophy Final between Kidderminster and Burton Albion in 1987. It was 0-0 and I think Kidderminster won it on penalties.
"I won a play-off final with Northampton there and then got there the following year and lost to Grimsby. I’ve also been there with Crystal Palace as a player in 1990 and as a coach at Palace in the Final against Manchester United in 2016. Will that help today? I’m not sure.
"I don’t care how many times you’ve played at Wembley, when you walk out there it’s a special place.
"It’s the best place in the world if you win but it’s a really uncomfortable place to be if you lose. I just hope these boys get to experience the former – because there’s really nothing quite like it."
Jordan Davies – Wrexham
“Growing up every kid wants to play at Wembley, it’s one of those career-defining moments.
“It’s going to be a big occasion and I can’t wait to step out there.
“When I signed in the middle of Covid, no one could really have imagined what was going to happen here.
“It’s been unbelievable since the new owners came in. If you look at where the team started and where we’re at now, it’s incredible.
“It’s exciting for everyone involved, for the players, the staff and all the fans in the town as well."
Michael Cheek - Bromley
“It was an amazing feeling to get those goals in the semi-final. I was quite emotional when I scored. It took my breath away a little bit – hearing what it meant to all the fans and realising that we could be walking out at Wembley.
“It has just never happened for one reason or another but I’ve always said that I want to play at the highest possible level,” he continued.
“I’m always looking to get into the Football League. If I managed it, it would be probably be my biggest achievement as a footballer.
“What would scoring at Wembley feel like? That would be the icing on the cake. With all my friends and all my family there, that would just be unbelievable.
“I’ll be trying my best to do exactly that.”