For most aspiring youngsters, thoughts of walking out onto the hallowed turf at Wembley never really leave the pillow.
But for ex-Aldershot Town starlet Ryan Scott, that dream is about to come true – and there’s no-one more taken aback than him.
Just last month, the 27-year-old quit as manager of Badshot Lea after just five months in charge, clearly disillusioned by a lack of motivation from some of his Combined Counties League charges.
Now, after seizing the opportunity to revitalise his playing career at Skrill South strugglers Gosport Borough, Scott is about to walk out at the home of English football to take on Cambridge United in the FA Trophy final.
But Scott’s story is no longer a fairytale down at Privett Park. The midfield ace joined the south-coast side at the back end of last season and helped them win promotion to the second tier of non-league football for the first time in their history.
Now, having re-joining the club this month, he played every minute of their two-legged semi-final with Aldershot Town’s conquerors, Havant & Waterlooville, helping them to a 3-1 aggregate victory thanks to two goals from another old Shots favourite, Tim Sills.
In fact, up until his league debut for the club against Eastbourne Borough on Tuesday night, Scott had played five matches for Gosport, consisting of three semi-finals and two finals.
“It’s no wonder the lads call me ‘big time’ and ‘glory hunter,’ Scott joked. “I think I would too.
“Seriously, it’s an absolute dream and a fantastic opportunity for me, not just the chance to play at Wembley, but also to help the club stay in Skrill South. I’m absolutely buzzing with that challenge.
“I’ve been to Wembley once, to watch my old Aldershot team-mate Ben Harding play for Northampton in the League 2 play-off final, and it’s an fantastic place.
“It’s going to be amazing being in the changing rooms and then walking out into an arena like that, something to tell the grandchildren about, for sure.”
At the same time, Scott, whose Aldershot career was curtailed by a nasty leg break, believes his story can help some of his ex-Badshot Lea team-mates to follow his path.
He added: “My philosophy that I tried to put across to the lads at Badshot Lea was to work hard and be ready for when that chance comes. That’s exactly what happened to me.
“I’ve never questioned the ability of the other lads at Badshot and I don’t think I’m any better than some at the club, but I’ve worked very hard on my fitness with my yoga, running and my diet and luckily I've been able to prove my point.
“I left the club on great terms and I hear the lads are coming down to Wembley to watch me play, so it’ll be great to see them all there.”