On loan Everton youngster Jake Bidwell has admitted that success with Brentford in the League One play-off final would more than make amends for the disappointment of missing out on automatic promotion.
Left-back Bidwell and his Bees teammates have a second chance to make it into the Championship when they face Yeovil Town at Wembley Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Brentford were denied a top-two place by Champions Doncaster Rovers on a dramatic final day of the regular league season three weeks ago.
But after beating Swindon Town on penalties in the play-off semi-finals, the west London club are again just one match away from promotion.
Blues academy graduate Bidwell will make the 50th appearance of his loan spell at Wembley and he is determined to enjoy what he describes as a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity.
“We played a lot of matches this season and now it comes down to this game on Sunday,” Bidwell told evertonfc.com
“I think there would be something wrong with me if I wasn’t nervous but you have to approach it as any other game because once the nerves start to get the better of you that’s when you start to make mistakes. There is a bit of nervous excitement but it’s important to control it and focus on the job.
“There is a lot riding on the game with the pressure but it could be a once in a lifetime chance to play at Wembley. It is a chance for promotion so we have got to do our best and enjoy the occasion.
“It was there for us in the league – we were one kick away from promotion. For the game to end like it did [against Doncaster], it took us a few days to get over the disappointment. It wasn’t easy but I think we have shown in the two play-off games against Swindon that we have bounced back and are ready to go on Sunday.”
Throughout the duration of his loan spell, Bidwell says he has also been keeping close tabs on the progress of Everton Under-21s.
The young Blues strung together an impressive 16-match unbeaten run throughout the second half of the season before losing 3-2 at Tottenham in the semi-final of their league competition on Monday evening.
“I’ve been following them and it doesn’t look like they have missed me,” added the 20-year-old.
“They have had a good season and there are a few good players in there. Hopefully two or three can be knocking on the first team door next season.”