OVER the course of the season George Thomason has been everything from match-winner to villain, cheerleader to dressing room spokesman.

The midfielder – who despite only being 23 is the longest-serving player on Bolton’s books – now stands on the verge of joining an exclusive group of players who have turned out for Wanderers in three different divisions.

Having made his debut in League Two and grown into a first team role in League One, he is keen to make the play-off final opportunity count.

It has already been a season of highs and lows for Ian Evatt’s side – their disappointment at missing out on an automatic promotion spot tempered by the two-legged win against Barnsley and a goal-laden campaign which now sees them as the most prolific side the club has ever seen.

Thomason’s rise to prominence has also had a small asterisk placed against it, by virtue of his poor disciplinary record which totals a club record 21 yellow and one red card.

Nevertheless, Thomason’s improvement as an all-round player has been one of Evatt’s true success stories, and he is determined not to let a chance for Wembley glory pass him by.

“It has been a long season and we would have liked to go up in the top two and do it automatically,” he told The Bolton News. “There have been a lot of good performances throughout, some not so good ones, but we just fell short, that was all on us. We can’t change that now.

“Right now it’s a knockout competition. Over the three games you play you’ll only be remembered for what division you end up in. Nobody will care what the results of the semi-finals were, or the state of the performance. It is entirely about whether you can get the crucial result at the crucial time, can you step up to the plate?

“We are one game away from doing that now.”

Thomason could be seen cajoling the home fans through the two semi-finals and helping to make the home leg in particular one of the most raucous atmospheres the stadium has ever seen.

The chance to do that in front of another packed-out East End of Wembley is one he cannot wait to take.

“It is up to us boys on the pitch to get bums off seats, really get them cheering,” he said. “They are here because they want to back the boys, want to see the ball in the back of the net and see good performances, so it is up to us to rally them up when we get the chance.

“The fans have been brilliant all season but that (the second leg) was something else. I’m sure at Wembley it will be even louder.”