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Army of City fans is Wembley-bound
10:14am Sunday 16th May 2010 in York City v Oxford United - Wembley play-off final By Mark Stead, email@example.com
YORK City's travelling army of fans are today heading south for the club's date with Wembley destiny.
Thousands of Minstermen supporters set off from the city at breakfast time to make the long journey down the M1 on a convoy of coaches and via rail for the club's Blue Square Premier play-off final showdown with Oxford United at the iconic sporting arena.
Victory will see City return to the Football League after a six-year absence and, as fans gathered at the Knavesmire to board 24 coaches organised by City's official supporters' club, the mood was one of optimism and anticipation.
"We played at Wembley last year in the FA Trophy final, so we know what the occasion will be like, although there's even more riding on today's match," said Steven Jennings, 42, from Acomb.
"We shouldn't have anything to fear because we're a league club in waiting and I'm sure today will end that wait. You can feel the confidence around the club and among the fans at the moment and I reckon that'll carry us through.
"There are a few nerves already because everybody knows how much today means and what's at stake, but we all know it could be a day we'll remember for the rest of our lives."
Helen Waites 45, from Clifton, York, was in the stands at the old Wembley in 1993 when City last won a play-off final there and said: "That was an unbelievable day and I thought back then that nothing could ever beat it.
"But winning today would. This is possibly the most crucial game in City's history because it sets the scene for the future of the club, the chances of keeping this fantastic team we've got together and the prospect of the community stadioum happening.
"After everything we've been through in the past, the fans and the club deserve this and really think we'll do it. We've got the talent and the momentum and the spirit, and you can see in people's faces today what getting back into the league would mean."
And Michael Spencer, 38, from Badger Hill, said: "Oxford might have more fans than us at Wembley today, but there's no way we'll be outshouted and I think we'll be the ones who have something to shout about.
"There's been such a buzz about the club and the city since we beat Luton in the semi-final and that will carry us through. It's a special club and today feels like it's going to be a special day."