THE memories of sitting on the Wembley bench three years ago have given Nathan Byrne all the encouragement he needs to help Swindon Town reach the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final.
During his loan stint with Brentford in 2011, Byrne was an unused substitute as the Bees were beaten 1-0 by Carlisle United at English football headquarters.
It’s not the result that stands out for the former Tottenham man - he only made 11 appearances in Brentford colours - but the fact that he didn’t get the opportunity to stretch his legs over the hallowed turf.
Three years later Byrne has Wembley in his sights once again, with victory over Peterborough United tonight enough to take Swindon to the north London venue for the third time in five seasons, and he’s not about to let that chance slip.
“I went there two or three years ago with Brentford on my first loan and I didn’t get off the bench.
“Hopefully I can grace the pitch in actual time this time if we get there.
“We’re going to do everything we can,” he said.
“If I play I’m going to put it all in. I want to be on that pitch at some point and if we get there it would be great. I was devastated last time we got there. A lot of the boys had played in every game in the JPT, I came at the end of the season so it was fair enough that I didn’t play but to be on the bench and just look at the boys playing was tough.
“I just wanted to be on the pitch and be a part of it.”
Having already played Posh three times this season - with each team winning once before the 2-2 draw at London Road on February 5 - Byrne and his Town colleagues are well versed in the threat posed by Darren Ferguson’s men.
“We know they’re a strong team,” he said. “They were up there at the start of the season for quite a while so we know it’s going to be a tough game and I’m looking forward to it.”