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City striker Daniel McBreen eyeing FA Trophy farewell
YORK City’s FA Trophy top scorer Daniel McBreen is targeting a Wembley win to compensate for a sorry league season.
McBreen also feels victory over Stevenage Borough in tomorrow’s final (2pm) would represent the perfect parting gift to supporters before he jets off to partner former Liverpool and England star Robbie Fowler at new club North Queensland Fury.
The 32-year-old Australian, pictured, has netted five times during City’s run to the final, hitting the target at every stage of the competition other than the 2-0 first round victory over Northwich, when he was an unused substitute.
About the chance for City to redeem themselves at the world’s greatest stadium, McBreen said: “I couldn’t ask for anything more than a Wembley final to end my career in Europe and it’s also a great finale to a disappointing season for the fans and players.
“It’s a diamond in the rough really and I would like to finish on a high after a long, hard campaign. As a team, we haven’t performed as well as we could have done but, hopefully, we can lift the Trophy and give the supporters something positive to remember the season by.”
McBreen’s parents have flown over from down under for the final while friends and family of the former Scunthorpe forward will also be tuning in to a delayed re-run of the final, which is due to kick off at 11pm Australian time.
With the 6ft 1in target man having netted at Hampden Park during last season’s Scottish FA Cup semi-final against Rangers, McBreen is also eyeing the possibility of scoring goals at two national stadiums in the space of 13 months.
That aim remains secondary, however, to claiming victory with McBreen adding: “Richard Brodie is one goal behind me in the Trophy and I’ve been joking with him and saying that I won’t be passing to him so I’m still the top scorer. Seriously, I would love to score at Wembley but winning the game is the main thing.”
About the prospect of lining up alongside Fowler next season, McBreen is equally enthusiastic, saying: “It’s something else to look forward to. Watching him play over the years, you obviously dream of playing with him.
“If somebody had told me a couple of years ago, or even a few months ago, that I would be in the same side as Robbie Fowler, I would have thought they were having a laugh but it’s all worked out unbelievably. I just have to take it all in and, hopefully, we can do well together.”
News of McBreen’s return down under broke on the eve of City’s Trophy quarter-final clash against Havant and Waterlooville in February. Neither Minstermen manager Martin Foyle or chairman Jason McGill had any prior knowledge of the move.
He added: “During the last few months of your contract, you can talk to other people. North Queensland wanted to speak to York so asked me to keep it quiet but then the news came out. It was disappointing but there’s nothing I can do about it now.”
• This is the first time York City and Stevenage have met in cup football.
• Stevenage are one of only six clubs that City have met in each of their five seasons of Conference football. The others are Burton Albion, Crawley Town, Ebbsfleet (Gravesend) United, Forest Green Rovers and Woking.
• Of the ten games played between the clubs, City have won twice and Borough five times with three draws.
• City have netted 13 goals and conceded 17.
• City’s two wins were 3-1 at home in 2004/5 with Lee Nogan, Andy Bishop and Chris Brass on target, and 2-1 at Broadhall Way in 2006/7 when Clayton Donaldson and Steve Bowey were the scorers.
• Both clubs have fared better away from home with Borough winning and not conceding a goal on their last four visits to York, while City have only lost once in Hertfordshire.
It happened on May 9
1987: In the last game of the season City drew 1-1 at home to Notts County with Martin Butler the scorer. A crowd of 3,760 saw this Division Three (League One) encounter and the club finished 20th in the table. This was the last game of the Denis Smith/Viv Busby regime and making their last appearances for the club were Keith Walwyn and Gary Ford.
1989: City lost 2-1 at home to Cambridge United to end their promotion play off hopes. Steve Spooner scored from the penalty spot and the crowd was 2,336. City finished this Fourth Division campaign in 11th position.
1996: In a re-arranged match played on a Thursday morning City won 3-1 at Brighton and so avoided relegation to Division Three (League Two). Gary Bull, Paul Stephenson and Scott Jordan were on the scoresheet and making his last appearance for the club was goalkeeper Dean Kiely. In the Brighton side was former City favourite John Byrne.
compiled by David Batters