FA TROPHY victory could spark a new era of success at York City, declared Wayne Hall, one of the club’s 1993 Wembley wonders.
The left-back attained hero status with City fans as the man whose penalty 16 years ago clinched promotion from the club’s first appearance at Wembley, where Crewe Alexandra were beaten in a dramatic spot-kick shoot-out.
In four days’ time City return to Wembley to face Blue Square Premier rivals Stevenage Borough in the FA Trophy final.
Since Hall was in his playing pomp – he racked up more than 400 appearances for the Minstermen – the club’s playing fortunes have ebbed dramatically.
The current players can create their own niche in the club’s history just as Hall and his contemporaries did in 1993. Back then City marked the club’s Wembley debut with promotion, and the 2009 version can become the first City line-up to collect a domestic knockout trophy.
Hall, who will be among several former City aces to journey with the faithful to Wembley, said: “It saddens me to see City where they are now. I had great times at the club, so I want them to get back into the League.
“Winning at Wembley can be a spur. If City can get the result they want then it will set them up for the start of next season.
“They will end the year on a high and they can take that into the next Blue Square campaign. A win at Wembley would give more resources to Martin Foyle and he might then be able to bring in new players.
“A win at Wembley gives anyone great confidence and it is so true in football that confidence breeds results.”
Hall pointed out that after he and his team-mates triumphed over Crewe in 1993, they then reached the play-offs for a second successive year only to bow out in the semi-final to Stockport. And within a year of that City were celebrating a national headline-grabbing Coca-Cola Cup conquest of the mighty Manchester United.
“We got so much confidence out of what we achieved at Wembley that we felt we could beat anybody.
“We had such a good team with a spine that was so strong with Dean Kiely in goal, Paul Stancliffe in defence, Nigel Pepper and Gary Swann in midfield and then Paul Barnes up front. That was the key. But winning at Wembley gave us that confidence.”