By Tony Leighton
Southend United winger Kevan Hurst is desperate for a Wembley return in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy having been to the national stadium for three finals with previous clubs but played only once - and that game ended in defeat.
Hurst was in the Scunthorpe United team that lost to Luton Town in the Trophy's 2009 final, but injuries meant that he then had to watch from the stands at both that same year's League 1 Play-Off Final with the Iron and the Trophy final with his next club Carlisle United 12 months later.
Now the 27-year-old winger, who joined npower League 2 promotion-chasers Southend from Walsall this summer, is eyeing a place in the last four of the Southern Section as the Shrimpers prepare to face League 1 high-flyers Brentford in Tuesday evening's quarter-final at Roots Hall.
Hurst told football-league.co.uk: "I suppose you could say the Johnstone's Paint Trophy has been good and bad to me, but it's a competition I've always enjoyed playing in and it gave me my first experience of Wembley, which was amazing.
"I was on the losing side that day with Scunthorpe and of course that was a big disappointment, but as an occasion it was a great day for the club.
"The experience of playing there also helped the lads when it came to the Play-Off Final against Millwall. They felt more comfortable with the surroundings and atmosphere, which can be overwhelming, and they had a fantastic win.
"A knee injury meant I wasn't in contention for the Play-Off Final and another knee problem cost me the next season, when I played in every round of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy for Carlisle but then missed out when it came to Wembley.
"It would be great to go all the way now with Southend, and we've certainly got a chance although we've got a very difficult game against Brentford.
"They're going really well a division higher than us and they've got some very good players there, including one or two lads I've played alongside in the past.
"So it's going to be tough for us, but we've also been doing really well of late and I'm sure that Brentford will also see the game as a tough task."
Brentford are undefeated in nine league and cup games, but they will not take their opponents lightly as the Shrimpers head into the Trophy clash on the back of an eight-match unbeaten run that in the league has helped them climb to fifth place.
Hurst added: "We're going well in the league and our main priority is trying to win promotion, but if we can beat Brentford then move on towards the Trophy final it can only help in terms of confidence and morale."
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