Ryan Yates’ only experience at Nottingham Forest in the big time is watching old episodes of ‘The Premier League Years’, but he is determined to bring the club back this weekend.
The midfielder, who joined the club as a schoolboy, was 18 months old when Forest were last in the top flight but can help end a 23-year exile if his side beat Huddersfield in the Sky Bet Championship play-off on Sunday.
Yates has spent many hours watching the nostalgic spectacle, gorging on Teddy Sheringham’s famous goal against Liverpool in 1992, but wants a piece of the action for himself.
“I was only 18 months? It’s really amazing, I used to watch Premier League Years when I was younger,” he said.
“I’ve seen it, the photos weren’t the best back then to be fair. Times have changed a lot, so we’re looking forward to creating our own story now.
“Just those players, Teddy Sheringham’s goal is the one that comes to mind, I’ve watched it probably 10 times and I’m still watching it now, it’s a good watch.”
The current generation of Forest players are often reminded of the successes of those who came before them, with memories of back-to-back European Cups and a host of visits to Wembley in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
While proud of the club’s past, Yates has a burning desire “to write a new story”.
“For me personally, that’s a huge motivation,” he said.
“Since I’ve been at the academy all the talk has been about what happened before, the European Cups, the ex-players, which is absolutely unbelievable that the club has the history, but when it’s been so long, it’s time to write a new story and we definitely want to be in the history books.
“It’s something that motivates me personally.”
Playing at Wembley for Forest could mean more to Yates than his teammates given his long association with the club and the fact that his family are all supporters.
He doesn’t get carried away with the size of the occasion and knows there is work to be done.
“Personally, I try not to think about it too much,” he said. “You try to sort through all the tickets, you have a million and one people asking for a ticket, naturally you think about it all the time.
“It’s going to be a massive, massive occasion, and an occasion that we have to thrive on. At the end of the day, we have a job to do,” he added.
“I tried to put all that aside and focus on being able to perform at the best possible level. Our job is to go and win the game.