Newcastle fans are wildly celebrating their first appearance in a major final this century – and goalkeeper Nick Pope knows exactly how they feel.
The England goalkeeper hopes to help the Magpies lift silverware for the first time since the 1969 Fairs Cup in the Carabao Cup final later this month.
It will also be Newcastle’s first Wembley appearance since the 1999 FA Cup final while 30-year-old Pope himself has never made a professional final, the closest he has come being a League Two play-off, semi-final defeat while he was on loan at York in 2013-14.
‘My experience of finals is zilch,’ Pope admitted. ‘I lost a play-off semi-final with York, not much else is in there.
‘I have had a couple of abysmal cup runs, so I’m looking forward to this one.’
Academy graduate Sean Longstaff scored both goals as a 2-1 victory over Southampton at St James’ Park secured Newcastle a 3-1 aggregate win.
Despite the club’s huge spending since Amanda Staveley’s consortium took charge on Tyneside in October 2021, fellow locals Dan Burn and Elliot Anderson also featured in the game, with Paul Dummett an unused substitute.
‘We have a few Geordies in the squad, so it doesn’t go unnoticed,’ said Pope.
‘This is more than a football club. You are representing the city. It is something we’ve taken on really well. It is something I’m proud to be part of.’
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