South Elmsall defender McCombe targets play-off glory with Terriers

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SOUTH Elmsall’s Jamie McCombe is hoping it’s third time lucky in a Football League play-off final as he aims to help Huddersfield Town to the npower Championship

The former Frickley Athletic defender is expected to be part of the Terriers squad that travels to Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium on Sunday for the League 1 play-off final against Peterborough United (kick-off 3pm).

It’ll be the third such final he’s been involved in during his career, and sixth time in the end-of-season knockout competition, making him somewhat of a veteran when it comes to the play-offs.

But he’s yet to taste promotion via the play-off method, something he’s hoping to change come 4.45pm on Sunday.

He said: “It’s my sixth play-offs. I’ve got to the final three times now but not won so hopefully it will be third time lucky for me.

“I missed out on playing at the new Wembley last season with Bristol City because I got an illness before the game which kept me out.

“Sunday will be the third final so hopefully it will be a case of third time lucky.”

He continued: “I’m looking forward to it. I’m not feeling any nerves yet but they will probably start nearer the kick-off.

“There is a lot of pressure on these games, there always is.”

The former South Elmsall Boys player also tasted final defeat with Lincoln City, and missed out at the semi-final stage twice during his time with the Imps, and once with Scunthorpe United.

But he’s confident Town, who are unbeaten in the league in 2011, can enjoy a day to remember across the Pennines this weekend.

“We have nothing to fear,” said the 28-year-old.

“I think they’ve scored more goals than any other league team so I think both teams will be going at it and it’ll be entertaining.

“I don’t think you can go to the final like a normal league away game and defend and try to nick a goal, you have to really go for it from the start so I’m sure it’ll make it an entertaining game.”

He added: “Huddersfield are an ambitious club and at the start of the season they said they wanted promotion, that was part of the reason for me coming here from Bristol City last summer.

“If we have to do it via the play-offs then so be it, it’s a great way to do it.”

See this week’s Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express for all the latest sports news from around the area.