The countdown to the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Final will be cranked up next week when Trophy Tours are staged ahead of the Wembley spectacle.

The Johnstone's Paint Trophy team will take to the road next week to capture all the excitement surrounding Crewe Alexandra and Southend United ahead of their big day on Sunday, April 7.

The coveted trophy will be taken to destinations across the two towns of the finalists, offering fans the chance to have their picture taken with the silverware which the sides will do battle for next month.

Players and officials from both Crewe and Southend will also attend a string of events and be on hand to meet supporters.

The emphasis throughout the week will be on fun, with fans having the chance to be filmed singing a section of the National Anthem for a special video which will be launched on the Johnstone's Paint YouTube channel.

Giveaways aplenty will also be staged, with tickets for the Final, replica balls and Johnstone's Paint goodies all up for grabs.

"It promises to be a great four days and I'm sure the fans will be out in force in both Crewe and Southend," said Johnstone's Paint Brand and Sponsorship manager Ben Wilde.

"The Johnstone's Paint Trophy has always placed a very strong emphasis on engaging with fans, and what better way than hitting the road and meeting up with the supporters of the clubs who have done brilliantly to reach Wembley.

"These events will add to the excitement around the clubs and ensure Wembley fever continues to build. It would be great to see as many fans as possible come and join the fun."

The Trophy Tours will begin on Monday, March 25 in Southend, with the first port of call being the Victoria Shopping Centre.

The Johnstone's Paint Trophy Tour team will be there with the trophy between 2pm and 5pm, with two Southend players in attendance, before a frantic day of activity on Tuesday.

The excitement will start with a trip to the breakfast show at Southend Radio from 8am.

It's then down to Southend Central Railway Station for a special announcement at 2.30pm before the fun moves to the Johnstone's Decorating Centre on Bentalls Close.

Paul Sturrock and a Blues player will also attend the event, which will be staged between 4pm and 7pm.

The Johnstone's Paint Trophy Tour will then head up north to Crewe for another round of fun-filled activity.

Wednesday will see an exciting afternoon staged at the club shop at Crewe's Gresty Road stadium, with a number of players from the Alex squad in attendance.

It's another early start on Thursday morning with a feature on the Signal Radio Breakfast Show from 8am, before manager Steve Davis and more members of the playing staff join in at the Johnstone's Decorating Centre at Gateway, on the Crewe Gates Farm Industrial Estate. That event runs from 3pm until 7pm.

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