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The Final Countdown - No place like home for Simon

Posted on 18 February 2002  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff will be unfamiliar territory for many of our players on Sunday, but for Simon Davies memories of playing at Wales' national arena are pretty fresh.

Simon was part of the Wales side that achieved a creditable 1-1 draw with Argentina last week and he reports that the much talked about pitch is in good nick and ready to stage the first final of the season.

"It played very well," said Simon. "They kept it quite long I think for the rugby on Saturday, but it's a brand new pitch and I've no complaints, it was very nice.

"It's a very good surface, it didn't feel heavy at all during the game so it should be a good pitch for the final."

Simon says he did not allow his mind to stray during last Wednesday's encounter to the thought of the stadium being packed to the rafters with Spurs and Blackburn fans cooking up a cup final atmosphere.

"Not really," he admitted. "But when we were warming up and it was near enough full I was thinking 'great stadium, great atmosphere' - with the Tottenham fans in there on Sunday it's going to be great again."

Of course Simon is going to be the local boy made good on Sunday and is sure to be the central attraction for the Welsh media ahead of the big game. Even though Simon is a native of Haverfordwest, he has family connections in the capital.

"When I was down there a lot of the media was just asking about the game on Sunday and stuff. I'm looking forward to it, hope to be involved at some stage and it's going to be a great game.

"I've sold all my tickets, given them all out. I had a lot of my family there for the international as well. It's going to be a great occasion.

"I've got a few family in Cardiff, my mum and dad are staying there, so all my family from Cardiff are going."

Cardiff here we come!

Simon adds that he doubts many of the players will be asking him for tips on how to play the stadium, or that he is at much of an advantage having played there before.

"I've played there four times now and it's just a great stadium and a lot of the players will have already played in great stadiums like Wembley.

"They're all going to be looking forward to it with a full house there and if they ask what it's like I'll tell them. But there's not really much to tell, it just gives you a great buzz to play."

The difference for Simon looking ahead to his fifth appearance at the stadium is the prospect of 30,000 Spurs fans in the house.

"That's it," he beamed. "There will probably be a better atmosphere with the rivalry, there was only a handful of Argentina fans there. With 30,000 fans each it's going to be very loud and it'll be great."

By Richard Hubbard