The play off final has been the making of several clubs in recent years, and with the additional prize money that is now on offer there is an added insentive for both teams involved to come out victorious.
This season has been a rollercoaster for Exeter City, who found themselves at the bottom of the table at Christmas, whilst Blackpool only scraped through into the playoffs by a single point. This Sunday will see the two sides face-off at Wembley, in a bid to gain promotion to League One next season.
There almost always is a stand-out ‘hero’ in these finals, and I’ve picked out four players who could steal the show for their side on Sunday.
- Kelvin Mellor
The 26-year old right-back has impressed since signing for Blackpool from Plymouth Argyle in 2016, and recently claimed the Blackpool players’ player of the season award, as well as the Blackpool Gazette’s player of the season award. His attacking threat and overall delivery have earned him four goals and two assists in the 2016-17 campaign.
- Ollie Watkins
Watkins has been the key-man in Exeter’s revival throughout the second half of this season, and has performed admirably right across the midfield and in attack. Manager Paul Tisdale was able to keep hold of Watkins after the player was the subject of interest from other clubs in January, and the youngster has scored a total of 13 goals, and assisted 10 times this season. The 21-year old will be hoping to add to that tally on Sunday.
- Mark Cullen
Cullen has been a slow-burner for Blackpool this season, but has found his form at exactly the right time. His hat-trick single handidly knocked out his former club, Luton Town out of the semi-final of the playoffs, and he has scored four goals in the last three matches. It is likely that he will start alongside Nathan Delfouneso in the final, a frightening prospect for the Exeter defence.
- David Wheeler
The 26-year old winger has had an outstanding season for Exeter City, scoring 17 times in 38 league appearances. He scooped five awards, including the prestigious fans’ player of the season award. Wheeler, Watkins and Jake Taylor have been instrumental for City in their midfield, and Wheeler will certainly be hoping to add to his list of successes from this season in the playoff final and become the hero for his side.