TWO years ago he was preparing for a trip to Billericay - now Leon Legge is getting ready for the biggest game of his life.
The former adult care worker was stuck playing for Tonbridge Angels in the Ryman League in front of a couple of hundred people and thought his chance in the professional game was gone.
He failed to make the grade during trials at Millwall, Brighton, Peterborough and Charlton before former Brentford boss Andy Scott finally gave him his chance.
But the 25-year-old admitted it was a hard slog combining a day job while he made his way through the non-league circuit to Griffin Park , via stints at minnows Eastbourne United, Hailsham and Lewes.
Now, Legge is gearing up for his big day at Wembley in front of 40,000 fans.
He said: "It was tough. When you’ve had a long away game on a Tuesday night and then you’ve got to get up early in the morning for a 10-hour shift, it gets to you.
"It was tiring trying to hold down a job while still trying to make it in football.
"But I never gave up. I tried for years to make it but it never worked out.
"I got knock-back after knock-back, but luckily I finally got my chance at Brentford and I’ve never looked back."
Legge scooped the club’s player of the year prize in his debut season in the Football League after a string of rock-solid performances in the heart of the Bees back line.
And the no-nonsense centre back will be no stranger to Wembley after winning a VIP trip to last year’s FA Cup final for being voted player of the second round.
He added: "I had a chance to go there last year and the rest of the lads went to see the Carling Cup final this season.
"But I’m buzzing to get the chance to finally play there.
"It’s something I always dreamed of but never thought it would happen, especially when I was playing Canvey Island on a freezing cold Tuesday night.
"It just shows if you keep plugging away you will get your reward in the end.
"I’ve got a coach load of 50 people I know who are coming to Wembley to support me.
"Hopefully I can help send them and the rest of the Brentford supporters home happy on the day."
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