Hot shot Ian gets a taste of Wembley

First published in Sport

BRIDGWATER footballer Ian Bellinger realised a childhood dream last month when he strode out on the hallowed turf of Wembley Stadium to play in a trial match as part of the Budweiser Open trials scheme.

The scheme, which aims to find Sunday and pub level players who may have missed the scouting boat when they were younger, saw Bellinger play in a side managed by David Ginola and Alex McGleish at football HQ on April 14.

Bellinger, 28, was on the losing team as his side went down 5-3 to Steve Clarke and Ray Parlour’s outfit – but despite the result, it was a day he will never forget.

He said: “It was pretty surreal to be honest with you - it hasn’t completely sunk in yet. To go in the changing rooms and on the pitch at Wembley, was amazing.

“I gave a good account of myself and set up two goals, so I was pretty pleased. We basically lived like professionals for the week which was a great experience.

“There were scouts at the game, so hopefully I impressed, but even if I didn’t – it was a great day.”

Bellinger will watch the FA Cup final from a corporate box at Wembley this weekend as part of award for the finalists and a television programme, which followed the scheme from the very first trial, will air on BT Sport this weekend.

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