ACCRINGTON-born Richard Chaplow will be rooting for Burnley to win the Championship play-offs on Monday - despite still getting over the heartbreak of Preston’s exit.
The 24-year-old had to watch from the sidelines after an injury-hit season as North End went out in the play-off semi-finals to Sheffield United last week - the Blades are the Clarets opponents at Wembley.
But, while still recovering from the upset, he will be cheering on his former club Burnley and hoping they reach the promised land of the Premiership.
"I will be in Ireland on a family trip but my dad and brother are flying back to Wembley while I will be watching from a pub," said the ex-Claret, who left Burnley in 2005 to join West Brom for £1.5m.
"My uncles are all big Burnley fans so a corner of Ireland will turn Claret and Blue for the day.
"If Preston can’t go up, then the next club I would choose is Burnley.
"I remember going to watch them when they played Stockport at Wembley in the play-off finals when I was just a youngster and I remember Gary Parkinson’s goal in the 2-1 win.
"If they can repeat that scoreline then it’s good news for them and I will toast them.
"It is bitter-sweet for me as every footballer’s ambition is to play as high as they can and my aim is to return to the Premiership.
"And as Burnley were the club I was at as a youngster and I supported then I will be watching and wishing I was involved.
"But hopefully Preston will bounce back stronger next year and it can be our turn."
Chaplow, a former Mount Carmel pupil, knows the heart break of losing at Wembley - and doesn’t want his former club to have that sinking feeling.
"I have missed out twice - once with West Brom when we lost to Derby the year before last which was hard to take at Wembley - and now with Preston.
"It isn’t a nice feeling and I hope Burnley can do it.
"Then, if they get into the Premiership, I am sure they will give it a good go.
"I think everyone thought they would run out of steam with the number of games they played this season and the cup runs they have been on but they have surprised everyone and done really well."
But he knows its a difficult ask against Kevin Blackwell’s side.
"This is without doubt Burnley’s biggest game of the season - and in recent years - and it will be tough.
"I have seen Sheffield United a few times with Preston obviously and went on Turf Moor when they played Burnley.
"They are a horrible side to play against as they are strong and will not let Burnley get their passing game going and it will be a real scrap.
"I just wish it was a Burnley-Preston final - everyone I talked to wanted that. The Burnley fans and the Preston fans but we fell a little bit short this season.
"In fairness we did well to get into the play-offs and were ectastic after our finish to the season but then we just couldn’t see it through at the end."
Chaplow, who began his career with St Josephs junior side, is hoping for a better season at Deepdale next time out after his switch from the Baggies in January last year.
He has been hampered with a hamstring injury since then
"It has been hard. I have started 22 games so it isn’t that bad and have played when I have kept coming back from injury but obviously I want to play more," added Chaplow.
"I played 40-odd games for Burnley over two seasons so now I just want to get on top of my injury and hopefully rack up a full season and it will be Preston in the Premiership this time next year."
WEMBLEY PICTURES . . . Accrington Clarets are taking 21 coaches to Wembley. If you have any pictures from what promises to be a memorable day out please e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org.