Centre half Mark Creighton admits he was taken aback the previous time he played at Wembley, and he can quite understand how some players “freeze” on the big occasion.

But he believes he can only benefit from having played there before, in the 2007 FA Trophy final with Kidderminster.

You’d have thought that not too much unsettles the 6ft 4in Creighton, who has a great physical presence and who has been affectionately nicknamed “The Beast” by U’s fans.

But he said the experience of taking to the field under The Arch in front of 60,000 people is unique.

“You can’t really describe it when you walk out at Wembley. When I did there were 57,000 people there. It’s very daunting and it takes your breath away.

“I remember standing there and singing the anthem, and thinking ‘God, what’s happening here?’ It was my first season as a professional footballer and it was a lot to take in, I’ll be honest.

“You’ve got to switch off from that and get your mind switched on the game rather than all that’s going on around you.

“I can understand why some players freeze, without a doubt. It can easily be done. It’s an unbelievable place.

“The dressing rooms, everything. Everything in there is just the best of the best.

“I’ve had a couple of my close mates text me and have said to me a lot of players don’t ever get to play there, in their whole careers.

“And in the space of a few years I’m going to get the chance, possibly, to play there twice.

“It’s a very, very special place to play and I’m just very proud that I’m going to have the chance to do it with Oxford.”

Creighton has formed a fine partnership with Jake Wright, with the on-loan Brighton defender’s different qualities meaning that they complement each other well.

“I’d like to think we do,” Creighton said. “Wrighty lets me go and win things if I can and he’ll just sweep up behind and mop up.

“He’s more of a cultured centre half, if you like, whereas I’m just there to do what I do.

“I enjoy playing alongside Wrighty, as I do Rhys (Day), to be fair. They’re both great players and have got great attributes.”

Like most of his Oxford United teammates, Creighton of course knows Chris Carruthers, the former U’s left back who joined York last year. He also knows the Minstermen’s star striker, Richard Brodie.

And he admits that Brodie and fellow striker Michael Rankine can be a handful for any defence in the Conference.

“Brodes has given a lot of defenders difficulties this season, I’d say,” Creighton conceded.

“He’s a great goalscorer, good player, he’s got a bit of everything. He and Rankine are both exceptional players in this league.”

He added: “There’s good players all over this league.

“I had a conversation with one of my pals the other day, saying this level of football now is so good – and it is.

“The players are attracting attention from all other leagues and that’s only a good thing for this division.”

And what would it mean to The Beast if he could play a part in taking Oxford United back into the Football League?

“It would mean everything,” he said.

“I think that we’d have the best summer ever.”