Thu, 24 May 2018
HARRISON Bayley was thrilled that his family could be present when he walked out at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.
The Thatcham midfielder played all of the FA Vase final against Stockton Town and put in a solid performance alongside captain Tom Melledew.
The Kingfishers enjoyed a thrilling week in the build-up to the final and Bayley admitted that it was a dream to be a part of it.
He said: “On the day nothing really hit home until we were out on the pitch.
“For myself, the point which made this whole day important and a reminder of what we were doing here was when Stockton turned up on the pitch as well.
“I think that was the trigger for me.”
In the week before their Wembley showdown, Thatcham were allowed to use the facilities at Reading’s Madejski Stadium and Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park.
Bayley said: “Everything leading up to Sunday was all about enjoying the moment at what was coming up, especially with us being able to train at Reading and Crystal Palace.
“It was a great experience to come off the bus and have the cameras point straight at you and also see the advertisement boards when we walked to the changing rooms.”
The 28-year-old was overwhelmed when he first walked out on the pitch as the team was being cheered on by a crowd of 5,000.
He said: “Walking out at Wembley was something you dream of when you see so many big players who walk out in other finals.
“Walking on to the pitch and seeing all the fans there – more people than I expected – just made the occasion even greater and the first thing I did was look for my family.”
It’s been a memorable season for those associated with the club and the midfielder was delighted he could do it with his teammates at Thatcham.
He said: “I feel that the season has gone great for us because we won the league and we had the winning streak and the unbeaten record.
“Then this was the icing on the cake – words can’t describe how much emotion came out at Wembley.”
Bayley also praised the support from manager Danny Robinson and his team which helped created so many memories over the season.
He said: “I don’t think a group has deserved it as much as our players, managers and the board.
“We ran like a family all year and it finished like one too and I’m so happy I could also share this with my own family too.”