The Carling Cup Final with be a day of firsts for Referee Phil Dowd, his first major final and his first trip to the new Wembley Stadium.

The match on February 28th is the first final of the campaign and with two of the Premier League big guns - in Aston Villa and Manchester United set to go head to head, it's one the Staffordshire born official is looking forward to.

Dowd admitted he was as 'pleased as punch' to get the call from the Head of the Referee's Department at the Football League:

"David Allison phoned me at 10.15 on Monday 1st February and asked me what I was doing on the 28th and I said nothing - I am now!

"Everybody had been saying 'oh it's yours this year' and you just hope and pray that it is your turn.

"I have been disappointed before so I just kept pushing back saying 'no' so if it didn't come it didn't come but when the call did come I was as pleased as punch."

Dowd will be assisted on the day by Shaun Procter-Green and David Richardson, while Lee Mason has been named the Fourth Official.

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