Q: How are your emotions now we’re just days from the big game - how do you feel about it all?
As I write this it’s Thursday, three days before the game, and I literally can’t sit still. I can’t concentrate on anything but this match, this weekend and getting out of work tonight so I can start planning everything in detail.
These are the sort of things that make being a football supporter worthwhile, right? If you can’t enjoy everything about a weekend in London with your mates and a cup final then you’re following the wrong sport in my eyes.
I’m a bag of nerves, though that’s tempered somewhat by the excitement I feel whenever I think about arriving at the train station, being amongst the other Sunderland supporters as the sun beams down on us on Saturday night at Trafalgar square, walking down Wembley way and taking to my seat in order to soak in the atmosphere before a ball is kicked.
Close your eyes and think of how it’ll be if we win. Just imagine it.
It genuinely doesn’t bother me that people outside of this club view the EFL Trophy as an inferior competition, because as far as I’m concerned this is the biggest and most important game we’ve played in for five years. Haway Lads, just do us proud.
Craig Davies says...
Interestingly worded question. My emotions and my feelings about it all I’ve compartmentalised into two separate camps. One being based on footballing romance and the other based on hopeful reality.
My emotions are excited and bristling with buoyancy. It’s a cup final. It’s Wembley. It’s London. It’s an occasion. Personally, I’m meeting up with old friends and exiled Mackems who live down south but whose love of the lads has never wavered. So emotionally, I look forward to renewed acquaintances all wrapped up in the dizzying enjoyment of a cup final we stand a very good chance of winning.
How I feel about the whole thing? It’s a trophy that has little footballing value in and of itself, but is of great value to the continuing feeling of restored confidence we’ve been experiencing this season.
The occasion is far more important than the trophy. It will be unifying and celebratory, while contributing to our overall sense of resuscitation. Victory could be the joyous catalyst to a genuinely successful promotion push. Defeat may have to a negative side effect, but I’m certain that even then, Ross and the boys will be even more determined to deliver success.
James Nickels says...
I’m absolutely bricking it, the butterflies are well and truly here and I cannot wait to get down to London.
I’m not standing for any of this “it’s only the Checkatrade” - aye it is. But the momentum and unity we can garner from this possible Wembley victory (a first since 1973) is of vital importance.
Aside from hopefully finally getting to see the Lads win again at Wembley, this is another step in turning the club around and returning it from the broken carcass Ellis Short had left it festering in.
Its a symbolic moment that could mean so much more than some give it credit for, and the nerves have well and truly taken over. I’ve spent the last few days trawling the internet for videos of past cup finals; the games, cup runs, considerations, celebrations and a whole load of beers being consumed. I’ll probably spend the next few slaving away at work counting down to Friday night, nervously awaiting Wembley and London.
Chris Camm says...
Incredibly excited and possibly nervous but I’m not too clear on that yet. I’m sure the nerves will become apparent when I wake up the morning of the final.
This will be my first time seeing the lads contest a cup final as I wasn’t fortunate enough to attend the league cup and the sheer number of lads fans who will be making the journey have made the competition itself irrelevant. Sure it’s only the checkatrade trophy, and yes it’s a joke that academy aides are competing but the fact that Sunderland (and Pompey to their credit) are going to be filling every seat in the national stadium have turned this into the once in a lifetime experience that football is all about.
Think back to two seasons ago and how desperately horrible it was to support Sunderland. Many fans had turned their backs on the club that provided the heartbeat to our city. Yet here we are thanks to new ownership, a new strategy and set of players loving our club once again. We’re only in league one and this is only the checkatrade trophy but honestly who gives a f***. Football isn’t about who your playing against or at what level your playing at. Football is about moments like this Sunday. And Sunderland AFC is about every single fan who will be watching on, either in person or back at home, proud to support their club as it struggles through the most devastating lows and this weekend the most glorious of highs.