MATTY Dolan never dreamt that a bold decision to move away from Hartlepool would lead to Wembley.
The Middlesbrough midfielder – a former pupil at English Martyrs – made the choice to join Yeovil Town ahead of his hometown club in a loan move in December.
And the 20-year-old has not looked back.
Indeed, Dolan will walk out at Wembley Stadium on Sunday when The Glovers take on Brentford in the League One play-off final.
“I never thought I would end up at Wembley this season,” he told SportMail.
“Going out on loan was just about getting experience and some senior games under my belt.
“I wanted to move away from home to try something different and I think I’ve developed as a person as much as anything else because of it.
“I’ve had to learn to live by myself and I’m better for it.
“There was a chance to go to Hartlepool but that didn’t work out for one reason or another.
“But coming to Yeovil has been brilliant for me – and now this, it’s unbelievable.”
Yeovil earned the right for their shot at promotion thanks to a fourth-placed finish and victory over Sheffield United in the play-off semi-finals.
Dolan will be supported my his mum, dad, sister and girlfriend for the mammoth match which could send the Somerset club into the second tier for the first time in their history.
“It’s hard to treat it as just another game, but that’s what you’ve got to try to do,” Dolan went on.
“We’ll be doing all the touristy things today like going up to Wembley and seeing the stadium and getting our photos.
“But then it will be minds on the game because it would be an incredible achievement for the club if we were to make the Championship.
“I’ve only been here five months or so but I class the lads as my mates now and I’m desperate to play my part.
“Who knows, I could end up back here next season as well.
“My ambition is still to get in the first-team at Middlesbrough but coming out on loan has been an excellent experience and I really feel part of it all here.
“I just hope we finish the season on the high note the club deserves.”
Meanwhile, Dolan’s Boro team-mate Ryan Brobbel – a former High Tunstall pupil – is training with Northern Ireland Under-21s this week.