Steve Foster wants to earn place in Mansfield history

FA Trophy final, Wembley: Darlington v Mansfield Town
Date: Saturday, 7 May Kick-off: 1500 BST
Live commentary on BBC Radio Nottingham

Mansfield Town centre-half Steve Foster has urged his team-mates to emulate the club's Freight Rover Trophy heroes from 1987 and win at Wembley on Saturday.

The Mansfield-born defender was in the crowd when Bristol City were beaten and is desperate to match that success against Darlington in the FA Trophy.

Foster told BBC East Midlands Today: "I was 12 and have great memories.

"The players from that era and game are remembered to this day. If we win we'll be remembered for a long time."

The Stags won on penalties in 1987, having drawn 1-1 after extra-time. It was the first major honour in the club's history and the first Twin Towers final to go to a penalty shoot-out.

More than 58,000 people saw the Stags triumph. And although Saturday's showpiece final at the new Wembley is only expected to attract around 25,000 fans, Foster said it will still be a wonderful occasion.

Lifelong Mansfield fan Foster - now in his second spell at Field Mill having started his career with the club in 1992 - still treasures his Wembley experience and cannot wait to return and play in front of more than 14,000 Stags supporters.

"I had my Mansfield tracksuit on and flag and still have them at home," the 36-year-old added.

"To get Mansfield to Wembley and play there for them is really exciting times.

"To be fair we have worked hard. The semi-final win over Luton was a great win. It probably hasn't sunk it yet. When we have a look around Wembley that's when the excitement and butterflies will start.

"I know we are outnumbering them and hopefully we will out sing them and it will be a good day for the fans.

"It's important we perform, put on a show and win it for them and make it special."

Foster could well have been lining up for the opposition had things turned out differently. He only left the Quakers at the end of last season to return to his hometown club.

"It's funny how it comes around," Foster added. "I was playing for Darlington for the last two-and-a-half years and I leave them (sic) and find myself playing in a final against them.

"I've still got friends there so have wished them all the best, but probably don't really mean it and we'll go to try to win the game!"

As if Foster needs any more reason to make the day special, his contract is up in the summer and it could be his last game for the club.

But whatever transpires with regards Foster's future or the outcome on the day, chairman John Radford hopes Saturday will signal a new start for the club.

A turbulent season has seen Mansfield part company with manager David Holdsworth and finish a long way off the play-off spots in 13th place in the Blue Square Bet Premier.

However, despite the ongoing dispute over the ground with landlord Keith Haslam, the Stags will be playing at Field Mill next season and Radford has vowed to make buying their home his priority after the FA Trophy final.

Radford is confident he will be successful in that aim and has also promised to invest £2m in the playing budget if and when he purchases the ground.

He told BBC Radio Nottingham: "I would like to get something sorted before the start of next season but I want to get Wembley out of the way first.

"We don't want any upset before Wembley.

"Taking Mansfield to Wembley is the best thing that has happened to the club in the past 20 years. I am going to try my best to enjoy the day - and if we win I am sure I will."

You can hear live BBC Radio Nottingham commentary of Mansfield Town against Darlington in the FA Trophy final from Wembley on the BBC Sport website.

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