Levi Colwill was 11 years old when he first walked out onto the Wembley pitch. On that occasion, he was flanked by three of his uncles. On Sunday, he will do so alongside his Chelsea team-mates.

Colwill remembers his first Wembley moment vividly. It came in 2014 when Sholing faced West Auckland Town in the final of the FA Vase, a competition for clubs from steps nine to 11 of the English football league pyramid.

The Blues defender, then in the Academy, left training early to ensure he could join his uncles – Barry and Bryan Mason and Marvin McLean – as a mascot. As he waited in the tunnel, Colwill experienced the weight that comes with competing in a Wembley final.

‘I walked out with my uncle Barry and I was feeling the nerves,’ he recalls. ‘Everyone was really serious, really focused. It was big. I remember looking around the stadium, it was amazing. I just thought to myself, ‘I’ve got to play here one day’. 

A second-half goal from Marvin ensured Colwill’s uncles left Wembley with silverware. He will hope family history repeats itself this weekend as Chelsea take on Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final. 

It is a landmark moment for Colwill; his first final in the Chelsea first team. ‘It means a lot,’ he says. ‘Obviously, coming through the Academy, you’re taught that this is a club for winners. It’s part of our philosophy.

‘So we’ve got to go there and do everything to win. That is what I expect from myself, that is what expected when you’re at Chelsea.’

Colwill joined the Blues at eight years old. His connection with the club runs deep. Success was regularly celebrated at Academy level and the 20-year-old, who has featured in every game on our run to the final, hopes to maintain that habit in the first team.

‘I remember going to Wembley to watch Chelsea against Tottenham. It’s funny, we’d actually played Tottenham that day at their training ground and then we drove straight to the stadium to watch the first team. 

‘It doesn’t quite feel real to now be in the position of preparing for a final with Chelsea. It’s a blessing and everyone understands what we’ve got to do. We’ve got to go there, stick together and perform.

‘As an English boy, Wembley is a big thing. All the lads will be up for it, no doubt, but if I can help add a little more hunger then I will do that. We’ve got a lot of things to prove still this season, but winning the trophy would be a great way to back up what we’re doing.’ 

While the gravitas of Wembley remains for Colwill, he has twice fulfilled that childhood ambition of playing at the stadium. His first experience came in the 2022 Championship play-off final, where he featured for Huddersfield Town against Nottingham Forest. 

His second outing under the arch came in October as he was handed his England debut in a 1-0 victory over Australia. 

‘I hadn’t really thought about making my England debut, so for it to come around so quickly was amazing. That was all down to the coaches that I have played under and, of course, the England manager. It was definitely one of my proudest moments.

‘Obviously, as that little boy, I wanted to play at Wembley but it felt so far away. Hopefully, I’ll play there for a third time now, this time in a cup final with Chelsea.

‘Personally, that would be big. But it’s not about me, it’s about the club. We want to show we’re winners, that we can lift trophies for Chelsea. That is what we’re going there to do.’