Paul Hurst urges Grimsby Town to go all the way in FA Trophy
PAUL Hurst wants to tell his children about the day he led Grimsby Town out at Wembley – even if they couldn't care less!
The Mariners host Dartford at Blundell Park tomorrow in the first leg of their FA Trophy semi-final.
The return match, in Kent, follows next weekend, with the prize a trip down Wembley Way on Sunday, March 24 for the final against Wrexham or Gainsborough Trinity.
And, having won the Auto Windscreens Shield with Rotherham at 'Old' Wembley, Hurst wants Town's players to take their chance to forge similar memories.
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"It's important for the players, the fans and the football club," he told the Telegraph.
"There has obviously been a downward spiral for a while and thankfully that seems to have turned and the spirit around the club is much better.
"So this is for all of them – although personally I would love to get down to Wembley and lead the team out.
"I was lucky enough to play there for Rotherham in the Auto Windscreens, or whatever it was called at the time, and came out on the winning side that day.
"It's a memory that sticks with me. It would be nice if our players have that memory to talk about to their kids – not that mine actually care about it in the slightest! But I'm sure some will have kids that do.
"As managers, we want to lead the team out and it would be great for the fans to have that day out to look forward to."
With the Mariners top of the Conference and having their most concerted tilt at a Football League return yet, many fans have questioned the value of the FA Trophy.
But Hurst and co-manager Rob Scott have targeted Wembley glory from the first round back in November.
"We're very determined," he added. "There's no point getting the players fired up and ready for the games at Buxton, Havant, Welling and Luton if we're going to get to the semi-final stage and say 'it's been a good run, that will do us.'
"When we started out against Buxton, we didn't play well and drew 0-0, but we did a professional job in the replay.
"It was hard for the players to see then that it was a chance to play at Wembley because it was still a long way off.
"But we tried to instill that from the very first round and how much it would mean for them to play there.
"If you give me the choice, the league still comes first, but we feel we can achieve both.
"So we're very serious about the game tomorrow and I'm sure Dartford will be as well – it's a big prize for both teams."