Carlisle hoping for second dose of Wembley play-off glory with Cobblers

AIMING FOR A WEMBLEY REPEAT - Clarke Carlisle
AIMING FOR A WEMBLEY REPEAT - Clarke Carlisle

Clarke Carlisle has only two memories of his last play-off final - a foul for which he should have been booked, and the final whistle.

Carlisle was part of the Burnley team that beat Sheffield United 1-0 in 2009 to win promotion to the Premier League and played the full 90 minutes at Wembley.

The centre-back, who will line up in the heart of the defence for the Cobblers when they play Bradford in the npower League Two final on Saturday lunchtime, admits the game passed him by in a bit of a blur.

But the emotions at the end of the game are ones he will never forget, and he is hoping to reproduce that feeling with Northampton this weekend.

“It was a complete blur and I can only remember two moments in the entire game,” he said.

“One was Bruce Lee-ing big Greg Halford in the back on the halfway line.

“I went for a challenge and I went from sunshine to shade so I didn’t really know where I was and I just caught him.

“I should have been booked and wasn’t so I will always remember that, but the only other thing I remember was the final whistle.

“At that moment the emotion is always relief, followed by complete and utter ecstasy.”

One of the key factors for Burnley in 2009 was keeping their build-up to the game as normal as possible.

It’s a policy that manager Aidy Boothroyd has been so keen to implement for his Northampton squad in the past week, and one Carlisle feels could be crucial.

“With Burnley we stayed in our usual little hotel in Rickmansworth that we used for all of our games in London that season,” he said.

“It was just another game and you have to do the same things. You have to approach it as though it is just another match.”