Well maybe we're not, but this is as close as we've been since May 1998. I know we were in the Quarter Final of the FA Cup in 2006 but we had to beat Middlesborough and one of Liverpool, Chelsea or West Ham to get there that year. Despite flying to a football game we lost the Quarter Final Replay and the rest is history.
We need to beat Southampton away (not exactly easy, but we did do it a few months ago) then we need to beat one of Orient, Hereford, MK Dons, Northampton, Swindon or Norwich over two legs. Norwich or MK Dons would be a bit of a test but the rest are potentially fodder and none of them worry me as much as facing Liverpool or Chelsea at Villa Park or Old Trafford did in 2006. Was that really only three and a half years ago?
I've been trying to think of a decent comparison for a JPT Final at Wembley as opposed to an FA Cup Final at the same venue. I am trying to avoid the crude ones - and I'm sure you don't need my help with those. However, I'm struggling. I've been to Wembley many times, I'm a member of EnglandFans+ which guarantees me a ticket for all home games. I have seen Charlton play there twice. I was at the opening of the New Wembley - both the U21 game and the Full International against Brazil. I've seen England play Germany, and I was at Steve McLaren's final game in charge which was (in every way possible) a massive game.
The Play off Final in 1998 was the best game attended by just about everyone there, including Sunderland fans and a number of friends that went along to 'support' Charlton but are not Charlton fans. For this reason the match cannot be compared to anything else. However Blackburn 1 - 0 Charlton in the Full Members Cup Final in 1987 was the best day out at a football match I could remember. Take away the Playoff Final in 1988 and the first game back at the Valley in 1992 and it is still the top occasion in football for me. It was the first time I got to see Charlton play at Wembley.
In fact I purchased a scarf that day, and after the game it was put up on my bedroom wall where it stayed until I moved out of my 'family home' in 1995. It was probably the cheapest item of clothing I'd ever bought, but to this day I could find it in the loft in less than ten minutes.
At five, my Son is clearly too young to understand things like this. I doubt I would take him if we got to the Final, it's a long trip and with the parking restrictions at Wembley it would mean packing him on a tube and he is not ready for that yet, but I can assure you that I am!
I'm not going to Southampton tomorrow, I just can't spare the time. I don't have Sky Sports any more so I won't even be watching it live, but I will be listening to the scores, or more likely I'll have the score flashing up on my iPhone.
Do I want to win this game? You bet I do. I also have a sneaky feeling that we will do.
Then we get at least one game at The Valley to win our place at Wembley.
Wembley, Wembley, we're the famous Charlton FC and we're going to Wembley.
Up the Addicks!