Francis is "devastated" to miss Wembley.

West Auckland midfielder Alex Francis says that he is devastated at missing the big match against Dunston at Wembley on Sunday.

The former Newcastle player was injured in West’s quarter final win over Whitley Bay, and the closest he’ll get to the action on Sunday afternoon is a place on the bench behind manager Peter Dixon.

“Since the injury, I’ve had a few weeks to ponder, and I must admit that I’m absolutely devastated at missing the game. The chance to play at Wembley doesn’t come often, and hopefully I’ll get another chance in the future.

“But there’s nothing I can do about it, and instead I’ve got to use the situation as an incentive to go back to Wembley in the future as a player.

“I’m determined now to have a really good day. Even though I’m injured, the manager still wants me to be a part of the squad, go on the pitch before the game, and encourage the lads before the game.”

Francis went to Wembley for the media day, and sampled the charisma of the stadium. “It was a great experience. I posed for a few photos, got stripped in the changing room, and had a walk on the pitch. It was like a bowling green. I’ve played on several Premiership pitches in my youth team days, and they don’t compare to Wembley.

“Anything can happen on the day, but if we’re on our game by getting the ball down and playing at a high tempo, then I fancy us to win.”

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