Ronnie Moore is looking forward to the proudest moment of his management career as he prepares to lead his Rotherham United team out at Wembley for Sunday's Coca-Cola League 2 Play-Off Final against Dagenham & Redbridge.
Moore has been to Wembley five times but always as Assistant to Johnny King when at Tranmere Rovers in the 1990's; while in his previous spell as Rotherham boss he guided the club to back-to-back automatic promotions in 2000 and 2001.
Eight months after returning to the Millers he is now set to walk the Wembley walk and potentially take the club on its first steps towards a repeat journey towards the Championship. "It's going to be a fantastic occasion," said Moore.
"It's every manager's dream to lead a team out at Wembley and after seeing so many other guys do it, I can't wait to do it myself. It's a massive honour and it's going to be a great day not just for me but everyone involved with Rotherham United.
"Taking the club up to Championship level a few years ago was a great achievement by everybody concerned, but it's also tremendous what we've achieved this season after the doldrums the club's been in over recent years.
"Our offices are in Rotherham, we train in Doncaster and we play our home games in Sheffield at the Don Valley Stadium, where there's a 25,000 capacity but we average less than 4,000 and so there's no real atmosphere.
"I'm not blaming the supporters for that and in fact we had a great atmosphere for the second leg of our Play-Off semi-final (against Aldershot Town), when the crowd was over 7,000 and we had the speakers blasting out to fill the stadium with noise."
Moore's men won that second leg 2-0 to complete an aggregate 3-0 victory over Aldershot and set themselves up for a Final in which they will meet a Dagenham side over whom they did the double without conceding a goal in the regular season.
Not that Moore is taking those home and away wins against the Daggers as an omen for Sunday's meeting at Wembley. "Past results and recent form count for nothing when you go into a one-off game as big as this," insisted the Millers boss.
"It will be all about who handles it best on the day. As that saying goes, 'you've got to play the game, not the occasion,' and as we've only got one or two players who've played Wembley before it's going to be a massive occasion.
"We're going down to Wembley on Friday for a walkabout and the lads can check out the stadium, the pitch, the dressing rooms, they can take their cameras and get all the pictures they want and soak it all in.
"But on Sunday there'll be no cameras, no walkabout and hopefully no feeling of awe about playing at this great stadium. We're going into battle to win a football match, to get promoted and to give Rotherham a lift the whole town needs and deserves."
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