YORK City Knights captain Chris Clarkson admits that he has unfinished business at Wembley Stadium after three previous disappointments at the national stadium.

Clarkson has played twice before at Wembley for Leeds Rhinos and was on the losing side in the 2010 and 2011 Challenge Cup finals against Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors respectively.

The back rower returned to the capital in 2014 as Leeds ended their 15-year wait for a Challenge Cup with victory over Castleford Tigers, but he did not make it into the Rhinos team that day.

Fast forward to this weekend and Clarkson has another chance at winning silverware at Wembley as he prepares to lead out York in Saturday’s 1895 Cup final against Featherstone Rovers (12pm).

Asked whether he had unfinished business at the iconic ground, he said: “I suppose there is. I’ve played there a couple of times and I was in the Leeds squad when they won it but I wasn’t on the field.

“It would be absolutely fantastic to win it. My family is going down - my missus, my kids and my mum and dad - so it would be nice to win in front of them.”

“It was upsetting,” he said on winning out on a place in the 2014 final. “But the day itself was amazing and you can enjoy the occasion whether you’re playing or in the squad. It’s a good memory to look back on.”

Over a decade on from his Wembley debut, Clarkson has progressed from an emerging talent at Leeds to the vastly-experienced York skipper.

“It’s a massive honour to walk out at Wembley anyway, but to lead the lads out there, that will be great,” the captain said.

“When I step out there on that amazing field and look out at what’s in front of you and all of the fans that will be there and with the lads behind me, that’ll be great.”

Clarkson is one of several Knights players with previous Wembley appearances on their CVs, with the likes of Danny Washbrook, Ryan Atkins and Adam Cuthbertson all being multiple Challenge Cup winners.

“We’ve got a bit of experience and some lads have won at Wembley before,” said Clarkson.

“But the past is the past and experience counts for nothing unless you play well for the 80 minutes.

“Those lads will know what to expect, but we just need to play well on the day and that’s all that matters.”

Standing between Clarkson and a first Wembley triumph are unbeaten Betfred Championship leaders Featherstone.

The Rovers have made a remarkable start to the 2021 season with 12 wins from as many league matches under the tutelage of head coach James Webster.

“They’re flying aren’t they, and they’ve got some good lads there and a good squad,” said Clarkson. “Webby is doing a good job with them.

“They’re doing really well in the league having not lost a game yet, so their confidence will be flying.

“It’s down to us to step up to their level and be the best that we can and see what comes on the day.”

Despite being on a run of six straight league defeats, York will take confidence from their narrow 16-12 defeat to Featherstone earlier this year, a game that was only decided via a late runaway try.

“We know that we can compete,” added Clarkson. “We know that we haven’t done for the past few weeks, but we can compete with the top teams.

“When we last played Featherstone it came down to the last minute and it was nail-biting. Craig Hall scored that last-minute try which was disappointing for us.

“But we know that we can compete with these top teams, we’ve just got to go out and do it.”

Putting aside matters on the field, Clarkson is also keen for the team to relish the occasion as many of the part-time York squad will have never appeared on a stage quite like this.

The former Castleford and Hull KR forward said: “It’s important to enjoy it because it doesn’t happen too often and it’s something that you can look back on in years to come.

“It will be nice to take the atmosphere and occasion and enjoying that moment before kick off.

“But as soon as kick off comes you’re only thinking about one thing and that’s the run of the ball and the opposition.”