Traff Relishing Play-Off Challenge

James Trafford hopes there is still another page to come in his Wanderers’ success story as the Whites head towards the League One play-offs.

Trafford has enjoyed two superb loan spells from Manchester City, starting in January last season when he set a Wanderers' club record run of four clean sheets in his first four appearances for the club.

The England Under-21 goalkeeper has since kept a further 22 clean sheets in League One this term to help the Whites secure a play-off place, with his performances also earning him a share of the Wanderers’ Young Player of the Season award with good friend Conor Bradley.

“To receive it jointly with Conor is a pleasure. I expected him to win everything!” said Trafford, who is just one shut-out shy of the current tally of Ipswich Town keeper Christian Walton.

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“I am thankful to the Gaffer, (Technical Performance Director) Chris Markham and all the staff for putting their faith in me to come to the club once, let alone twice.

“I’ve been happy with how I’ve played this season. I have got things I have got to get better at, which is part of my journey.

“That many clean sheets is going some but it’s more of a reflection on the team. It’s been a heavily rotated defence, playing with people who are at the club or not here anymore, like Will (Aimson).

“That’s testament to the work we’ve put in on the training ground. Everyone knows their jobs and it’s been a great shift from the whole team, not just me.”

As an ever-present in League One this season, Trafford has been a key man in helping the Whites guarantee a top-six finish – as well as winning the Papa Johns Trophy at Wembley.

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A potential return to the national stadium could now be on the cards if Ian Evatt’s men can negotiate a play-off semi-final against either Barnsley or Sheffield Wednesday once they have wrapped up their regular campaign at Bristol Rovers on Sunday and confirmed their opponents.

“I am massively looking forward to the play-off campaign and what we could possibly achieve and think we can achieve,” Trafford added.

“It was the aim when I signed at the start of the season to try and make the club a Championship club.

“It would mean everything to get back to Wembley, but only if we won. We know what it takes but we’ve got a tough semi-final to play before then and after this weekend our focus will be fully on that and no further.”

Wanderers are currently fifth in the table and will face Barnsley in a two-legged semi-final if there is no change to their posititon following Sunday's game at Bristol Rovers.

Derby County are currently two points behind the Whites in sixth spot - with an inferior goal difference - with the team finishing sixth set to face Sheffield Wednesday in the play-offs.

The Whites know they will be at home in the first leg - either next Friday or Saturday (May 12/13) - with details to be confirmed after the weekend's final league fixture.

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