Littlehampton Town veteran undecided on whether Wembley will be swansong

Midfielder Liam Humphreys hasn’t yet decided if an FA Vase Final appearance at Wembley will be his swansong despite a 16-year career on the county league scene that has already seen him some success.

The 34 year old is keen to add more honours despite the ageing years and is expecting his team-mates to be gunning for more after this season finally comes to a close by the end of May.

By the time this month finishes Humphreys could have as many as three more medals to add to the league title they secured at the end of April as Town chase a historic quadruple.

Liam Humphreys scores the winner in the third round against Sheppey / Picture: Stephen Goodger

Humphreys said, ‘This season is going beyond all expectations. Mitch (Hand) and George (Gaskin) have been superb in the dressing room and it can’t be an easy task trying to play and manage us. I’ve played under some good managers and won things with them, these two have the job down to a tee.’

‘If you listen to Mitch before a game you’d think he’s been doing this 20-30 years, he doesn’t stutter or mix his words it comes out perfectly. He does his bit before the warm up and that’s pretty much it from him, but everyone pitches in when we go back in, George will say something, Danny(Hand) follows Steve (Tabor) in adding words and then Hunty (Adam Hunt) will finish off before we go out.’

‘It’s a completely different vibe in the changing room to anything I’ve experienced before, a complete togetherness. You normally get the young boys, the quiet ones and then the loud ones but everyone mixes in.’

Humphreys felt earlier on in the season top 5 would be their finishing position but once they hit the top of the table there were very few blemishes on the record.

‘After we lost to Peacehaven early on I thought we’d have a decent year in the league but not like it has turned out. Apart from the Newham Vase game and the 3-1 loss at Bexhill we’ve looked comfortable despite at times games looking like we’d score six if the opposition scored five.’

‘You’ve watched us on a lot of occasions and I think you’d agree we’ve tightened up a lot at the back having played a more consistent back line and not lost any of the attacking prowess.’

‘It doesn’t make a difference resting four or five players either, those that come in add to the performance and keep it ticking along, it’s some squad to be a part of I can tell you.’

‘Take the Chichester game in the RUR Cup, five were rested after the Loughborough Vase tie and we beat an Isthmian League side so it shows the strength of what we have, 2-0 down and eventually win 4-3.’

Humphreys paid tribute to the 104 goal partnership of Joe Benn and George Gaskin, a huge reason as to why the club is where it’s at now but acknowledged that they weren’t reliant on just those two players.

‘Phenomenal effort from Joe and he missed what three months of the season, George’s goals would have won someone a league title on their own too. Even when Joe was injured others chipped in with goals, they stepped up and made sure we maintained our position and cup runs.’

Humphreys said the Wembley feeling hadn’t yet sunk in but the closer it get’s to the big day that’s sure to change.

‘It’s huge we know, 600 odd teams didn’t get this far, but you see the shirts coming, people wearing them on social media, tickets start to arrive and it all becomes a bit more real. But I honestly don’t think it’s going to sink in until I’m done at 4pm on Sunday afternoon.’

Humphreys believes the Town supporters have a big part to play at Sunday lunchtime and so far the players have thrived on playing in front of big numbers.

‘Obviously, we know it’s going to be the biggest we’ve all played in front of and we’ve relished it so far. There could be upwards of 15,000 people by the time the final whistle blows inside that stadium, that’s just unbelievable.’

Humphreys knows that after the 4th chance of silverware is played out on the Wednesday after the Vase final thinking will begin about whether the career finishes on the biggest high for a Step 5 player or one, maybe two more seasons are played on.

‘My original thinking was let’s get all four medals this year and that’ll be it, a lot of the boys have chatted and I’m not saying for definite but I don’t think that’ll be it for me just yet, there might one more season to come, watch this space!’