Gavin urges Norwich City fans to get behind Wroxham
Paddy Davitt Wroxham's long-serving defender Gavin Pauling said the Yachtsmen's FA Vase semi-final success was payback time. The 38-year-old revealed prior to Saturday's 4-1 aggregate win over Whitehawk he still carried the mental scars from his role in Wroxham's controversial quarter-final exit at Durham eight years ago.
Wroxham's long-serving defender Gavin Pauling said the Yachtsmen's FA Vase semi-final success was payback time.
The 38-year-old revealed prior to Saturday's 4-1 aggregate win over Whitehawk he still carried the mental scars from his role in Wroxham's controversial quarter-final exit at Durham eight years ago.
Pauling now has the chance for redemption against another north east side when Wroxham face holders Whitley Bay on May 9 at Wembley.
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"I'm well chuffed. Like I said in the build-up this is ten years or so on for me after what happened at Durham and now here I am going to Wembley," he said.
"If I do retire - and, yes, I'm back tracking on that a bit now - but if I do, I can retire saying I actually played at Wembley.
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"I've had some lows in my career here but this is the highest high you can get. It doesn't get any better because this is the biggest competition for us to be in and we've got to the final. Hopefully we can go on and win.
"It won't sink in for a while. We'll enjoy ourselves now and get caught up in the hype but it probably won't sink in until nearer the time. I'm just pleased for everyone involved in the club. A lot of people have been here for a lot of years and they have never seen this sort of a day so it's for them."
Pauling is appealing for local football supporters to back Wroxham and make the pilgrimage to the world famous stadium next month.
"It's a long time since Diss were at Wembley. I guess the closest to us recently was Lowestoft so this is good for Norfolk," he said. "We want to go and do the county proud and do the business at Wembley. The crowd is going to be much bigger and we've already been told people from Lowestoft will be travelling down. There were also teams here in the second leg supporting us who you face week in, week out and it's great to have that backing. The crowd was superb. The last time I'd seen Trafford Park like this was this was King's Lynn in the FA Cup but this really was special and they spurred us on."
Pauling insists Wroxham can beat the holders after Whitehawk went the same way as highly-fancied previous cup opponents Armthorpe and Needham Market.
"We've said all the way along when you play these other teams you don't know the standard of the league they play in," he said. "They could be top, like Whitehawk, but you really don't know the standard until you actually play them. We'll go out with an open mind and play our game.
"We were superb for the first ten minutes and then I don't know if we sat back or what but we went in at the break and re-grouped and I think we knew deep down they couldn't hurt us.
"The manager and his coaching team are knowledgeable people and they will look to rotate the team between now and the final to suit each occasion. They have to treat each league game on its merits but as players you just don't want to pick up any injuries."