ELLIOT Minchella is far from overawed about the prospect of stepping out at Wembley – it is more being at Emsley.
And his mates will be alongside him in Rowan Milnes, Matty Storton and Ethan Ryan
Loose forward Minchella will go from the fan who cheered the dominant Bradford Bulls side to glory to the centre of the action as Hull KR take on Leigh tomorrow.
To him, though, this will be the exact same as stepping out for amateur side West Bowling. Even the faces will be familiar.
“Ethan and I played in the same team, Rowan is a few years younger and Matty was there too,” recalled Minchella. “Rowan and I went to the same school.
“We all get to experience going from West Bowling to Wembley and I’m so proud to do it with these guys.
“Playing with your best mates is something you dream of and it can help as that’s the attitude. I go to work every day with my mates – Ethan and I have known each other since we were 11.
“Just looking around and seeing the likes of Rowan and Ethan can help take the pressure off. A few years ago, we were all playing for Bradford in League One at places like Coventry and Hemel Hempstead.
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“Doing that makes you appreciate every day, the position we’re in and how privileged we are. It makes us so grateful to go from where we were five years ago to what we’ll experience tomorrow.
“As a kid, I was a season ticket holder at Bradford and went to watch them in Challenge Cup finals and Grand Finals – I remember the parades after winning too.
“Now even though I’m a player, the build-up is very similar. It’s exciting, it’s something to go and enjoy. If you go there nervous and go within yourself, you won’t do yourself or the team justice.
“We’ve got to do what we’ve done all year that got us here – be ourselves. Wherever we play, that’s our job, whether that’s at Wembley, Craven Park or any other away game.
“Don’t do something different just because we’re playing at a different stadium.”
Hull KR head to Wembley desperate to rid themselves of 2015’s nightmare 50-0 battering by Leeds – a result Michella needs no reminding of.
He was in the stands that day – wearing a Rhinos tracksuit!
The 27-year-old added: “2015 was actually the last time I went to Wembley, so it’s quite ironic. I was still a Leeds player at the time, so I had to be a fan.
“I’ve heard stories from people at the club who experienced it, so we want to learn from that and do better than we did that day.
“Hearing from the likes of chairman Neil Hudgell rammed it home. We don’t want to celebrate just getting teer. You dream about winning, not just playing in them.
“We got the job done in the semi but the real job is yet to be done. It’s not what our aspirations are and we know what it means to the club.
“It would also bring so much to the area and the people who’ve put their hand in their pocket to support us, who’ve been through some very bad times, including relegations.”