Just a year after Ian Holloway picked him up from Ipswich on a free transfer, the 22-year-old – who may well have joined a League One club had Pool not come calling – finds himself about to pit his wits against the country's finest.
"I could never have imagined that for a second when I signed from Ipswich.
"But we just kept on going throughout the season and kept on getting better.
"The manager kept on believing in us and that made us believe in ourselves really, and I think that was probably the key.
"At the final whistle at Wembley there was no surprise among our lads that we had done it because we knew we were well capable of it, and we deserved it I think."