DANNY SCHOFIELD tasted both the delight and despair of play-off football in 10 years with Town.
A winner over Mansfield at the Millennium Stadium in the League II final of 2004, the winger suffered the misery of defeat by Barnsley in the League I semis two years later.
Now an established Millwall player, he’s planning to use memories of both those campaigns to help the Londoners reach Wembley at Town’s expense.
Confident of overcoming a calf injury in time for tomorrow’s semi-final first leg in West Yorkshire (12.15), Schofield, signed from Yeovil during the August transfer window, said: “While we were disappointed to miss out on automatic promotion, we’re well up for the play-offs and looking forward to these two games.
“The play-offs are different from any other kind of football, and my experience against Mansfield at Cardiff taught me that if you do get to the final and win it, it’s the best way of getting promotion.
“But the other side of the coin is that if you miss out, it’s miserable. When we lost to Barnsley, it pretty much ruined my summer!
“I remember that feeling very well, and many of the lads at Millwall were around last season, when the club made the final by beating Leeds, then lost to Scunthorpe at Wembley.
“That will drive everyone on, and I think there’s a real desire to put the record straight.”
Schofield dismisses the theory that Millwall will suffer a hangover after missing out on automatic promotion to Leeds by just one point.
“We were disappointed, obviously, and especially because we beat Swindon on the final day,” added the 30-year-old.
“For a while it looked like it would be enough to take us up, but Leeds hit back to get their win over Bristol Rovers, and fair play to them,” added the 30-year-old.
“They finished above us in the table, and over 46 games, there’s no real argument, but we now have a fantastic chance to go up as well, and we want to take it.”
Doncaster-born Schofield, who played 289 games and scored 46 goals for Town before leaving for Yeovil in 2008, makes his second return to the Galpharm in a month tomorrow.
He was on duty when Millwall lost out to Town skipper Peter Clarke’s goal in front of the Sky Sports cameras, but believes he and his teammates can do better this time.
“It was a bit of a game of two halves,” he recalls. “Town were on top in the first half, but we hit back in the second and considered ourselves unfortunate not to get a draw at least.
“It was a cracking game and a great atmosphere, and I think it will be the same for both legs of the play-offs.
“Both the clubs have got loyal fans who really get behind their teams, and reaching the Championship would mean a huge amount to both clubs, so the games are set up to be pretty dramatic.
“I had some great experiences with Town – coming on as a substitute against Liverpool in the FA Cup as a young kid, the play-off semis against Lincoln, then the final against Mansfield in 2004, Chelsea in the FA Cup and the Barnsley games after that, but these matches will be right up there.
“As I said before the last game against Town, the club will always mean a lot to me because I had so many great years with them.
“The fans gave me a great reception, which meant an awful lot, but I know they’ll understand I’m now a Millwall player, and I want to be successful with my club.
“Playing at Wembley is at the top of the wish list for any footballer, and to be within two games of getting there is exciting.
“We know we have a tough task ahead of us, but we also know we’re good enough to go through to the final, and that’s our aim.”