CHRIS Melling admits he might not be able to drink in his home town boozer in a while if he helps London Broncos knock Wigan Warriors out of the Challenge Cup on Saturday.
Broncos will be looking to put their Super League woes behind them at Leigh's Sports Village and reach the club's first Challenge Cup final in 14 years.
Standing in their way are 18-time winners Wigan, where Manchester lad Melling (pictured) came through the ranks before moving to London six years ago.
Broncos' form leading up to the semi-final has not exactly been sparkling, last Friday's 38-12 defeat at Widnes Vikings leaving them rooted them to the bottom of Super League.
However, Melling is confident Broncos can pull off an upset against his former side and book a first Wembley final since 1999 for the London side.
He said: “These are the sorts of games you want to play in as a kid. The league form hasn't been great, but we have a phenomenal opportunity here.
“Everybody has been disappointed and frustrated with the way the league form has gone, and although reaching Wembley would not suddenly make everything all right, it would put a better slant on the season.
“Wigan will be the favourites, but anything can happen in the cup. It's an 80-minute performance, and whoever shows up will win. We're a potential banana skin for them, the same way Featherstone and Sheffield Eagles were for us.
“My family and friends are all Wigan supporters, although they all take an interest in my career too, so it will be a day of split loyalties and mixed emotions. If we do win, I'd better leave it a while before going out for a drink back home though!”
Broncos' preparation has not been ideal, with skipper Tony Clubb last week being quoted as saying he wants to leave the club to give himself more chance of silverware.
However, Melling claims Clubb was not only misquoted, but believes a Wembley final might even persuade him to stick around.
He added: “You put these things to the back of your mind as a professional, but you would be lying if, as a player, you said you didn't have thoughts like that. We all enjoy playing, but we want success too.
“I totally understand where Tony is coming from, although I think what he said was taken out of context. He's had a frustrating time, and was probably asked the question when he was frustrated.
“But I know he's totally focused on the Broncos, and who knows, he may even decide to stay if we reach Wembley and win a trophy.”