RAHEEM Hanley has already enjoyed a season that will live long in the memory but insists he isn’t finished yet as he bids for the perfect ending.

Blackburn Rovers’ diminutive midfielder travels to Stamford Bridge this evening for the FA Youth Cup final first leg tie against Chelsea, still shaking his head at the progress he has enjoyed this campaign.

His goal and powerful midfield display in the semi final against Burnley ensured Rovers fans now know all about him, while being handed a senior squad number just a few weeks ago shows his progress hasn’t been lost on the coaching staff either.

It is a far cry from the player who came to Rovers on trial in the summer of 2010 having not quite made the grade at Manchester United. It must have felt like the end at the time but it has since proved just the start.

Ahead of this evening’s trip to Stamford Bridge though, the 18-year-old knows he still has unfinished business as he looks for a fitting end to a memorable campaign.

He said: “We are delighted to be there, we’ll be ready for the final just like we’ve been ready for every other game.

“I don’t think we’ll be preparing any different, it hasn’t done us any harm this far.

“This cup run has done a lot for me, I’m playing in a position that I haven’t been used to, it has shown me that I can play more than one position. I’ll play wherever I’m told to play.

“Then to get a first team squad number has been brilliant, to travel with them has been an inspiration really.

“When I was told I was going to be given a squad number I thought it was a big joke, it was the day before the Manchester United game, April Fools Day, so I thought everyone was playing a joke on me.

“It was only when I was told by (first team coach) Iain Brunskill that I knew it was really happening. I’ll just keep working hard and hopefully I’ll get my chance.”

Having last won the FA Youth Cup in 1959, overcoming Chelsea in a two-legged final would be no small achievement for Rovers.

The last players to set foot inside the away team dressing room at Stamford Bridge were Lionel Messi and co for Barcelona. This evening Terry McPhillips’ men get their chance.

“I would have preferred it to be Manchester United in the final as I was with them for them for six years,” said Hanley.

“But it is Chelsea and I’m happy to be playing against them.

“We are confident about the game, we want to be coming out of the first leg knowing that we have all played well. If that happens then I’m sure we can look at the two games and be positive.

“Having the two games against Burnley should be great preparation for the final.

“To win two games, both in front of 10,000 people, a local derby, it helps for this next big games against Chelsea.”