EFL Trophy: Matt Bloomfield 'proud' as Wycombe prepare for final

Matt Bloomfield
Matt Bloomfield could guide Wycombe to their first trophy as a professional club in Sunday's EFL Trophy final [BBC]

Wycombe Wanderers boss Matt Bloomfield says he "couldn't be more proud" as he prepares to take the club to the EFL Trophy final.

The Chairboys will meet fellow League One side Peterborough United in Sunday's showpiece at Wembley Stadium.

A win for Wycombe would give the club its first professional trophy.

"It feels exciting," said Bloomfield. "When moments like this come around you need to make sure you embrace it."

Bloomfield captained the Wycombe side that won promotion to the Championship in the play-offs at an empty Wembley in 2020, but is now preparing to return to the national stadium for the first time as a manager.

"[This time] I have 20 players' hopes and dreams of playing at Wembley in my decisions," he said.

"As a player it's a selfish life because you have to be concerned about yourself and your performance. As a manager there's lots to think about, [but] it's why we do it.

"I'm a football romantic. To go back there as a captain and a manager is amazing… a wonderfully proud day for my family and everyone being there watching.

"Ultimately you have to put that to one side because you're judged on winning and losing at Wembley."

The Chairboys have a 100% record in this season's competition, having won all three of their group games before victories over the under-21 sides of Fulham, West Ham and Brighton carried them through to the semi-finals where Matt Butcher's stoppage-time strike helped them beat Bradford City.

Both Wycombe and Peterborough have been given an initial allocation of 25,000 tickets for the final.

Rachel Tillman and husband Andy Tillman
Wycombe fans Rachel and Andy Tillman are preparing to follow the Chairboys to Wembley [BBC]

Rachel Tillman and her husband Andy Tillman will be among the Buckinghamshire club's following.

The pair met at a Wycombe game eight years ago and are expecting their first child, with Rachel 39 weeks pregnant.

She said she was "a little bit worried" about going into labour during the final but said "it will be a story" if it happens.

Wycombe's Wembley exploits

You have to go all the way back to 1957 for Wycombe's first Wembley appearance, losing 3-1 to Bishop Auckland in the FA Amateur Cup final.

They won the FA Trophy twice in three seasons before securing a place in the English Football League by beating Preston North End 4-2 in front of a 40,000 crowd in 1994 to win promotion to the third tier.

In 2015, they lost 7-6 on penalties following a 1-1 draw with Southend United in the League Two play-off final.

Four years ago, Joe Jacobson's penalty in a 2-1 win over Oxford saw them reach the Championship for the first time, but in 2022, they could not produce a repeat as they went down 2-0 against Sunderland, with 72,332 in attendance.

Matt Bloomfield celebrates Wycombe's win in the 2020 League One play-off final
Matt Bloomfield celebrates Wycombe's win in the 2020 League One play-off final [Getty Images]