The Everton starlet could well find himself in the starting line-up for the FA Cup final against Chelsea at Wembley tomorrow.

Rodwell has enjoyed a breakthrough season at Goodison Park this term as he has established himself firmly in the plans of manager David Moyes.

Rodwell's ascent to first-team regular has been steep since becoming the club's third youngest first-team player in December 2007 when he came on as a substitute aged 16 years and 284 days.

He's only just turned 18, has already won England under-21 caps and has a new £20,000 a week contract.

His Everton career now stands at 12 starts and 15 appearances from the bench - the most notable as a substitute in the semi-final win against Manchester United - and Wembley is waiting again.

Birkdale-born Rodwell, nephew of former Blackpool midfielder Tony Rodwell, said: "I couldn't have believed at the beginning of the season that I would end up like this, with so many games under my belt and the chance of playing in an FA Cup final.

"The season started with me getting a few games on tour in the US before the league campaign, and I could see that we had a small squad and there might be a chance for me. And that is how it has turned out.

"I have been lucky already to have come on as a substitute at Wembley in the semi-final, it was a nervous occasions but just brilliant to beat United like that.

"We certainly know a bit about Wembley now so the final will not come as a surprise for anyone. I felt good when I got onto the pitch against United, and so did everyone else, we just took to the place.

"We have had a couple of draws already this season with Chelsea, the games were very tight. But they are a great side, and we are the underdogs.

"But confidence is high, we are doing well at the moment, and we believe we can do it.

"I have done my best to impress the boss. If I don't start I will not be down about it, but I will take my chance with both hands if it comes."

Rodwell added: "It's been a tough ride to the final, we have done it the hard way. Liverpool, Middlesbrough, Aston Villa and then Manchester United in the semi-finals. And now it's Chelsea in the final.

"That's a difficult run, but we have always felt we could win the next game, and the same applies to Chelsea.

"Now we have got this far and we do not intend to throw it all away now. For me it is obviously going to be the biggest day of my career so far, whether I'm in the starting line-up or on the bench.

"There are some really good players here, so I don't expect anything. Certainly not at my age, but I can dream and it could be really amazing for me."

Rodwell, who can play in midfield or defence, will be part of the England under-21 squad for next month's UEFA championship finals, and he said: "Getting the call for the under-21s was a great step forward for me. I'm just 18 and used to playing for England at 16s and 19s, but to be called into the under-21s was a great boost.

"People keep saying that I look mature on the pitch, which is nice to hear. But I have a long way to go yet and I am still learning.

"All players have some nerves, but it is starting to get easier and I don't really feel that nervous now. The season has gone well and I feel at home on the pitch.

"That has surprised me a bit, to feel as calm as I do. And I hope that continues throughout my career."

He added: "The occasion is massive, Chelsea are a great team, but if we play well and do what we usually do we feel we can win this.

"We have done so well to finish fifth, people say that's being the best of the rest outside the top four.

"But it is hard to break into that top group, with all the money they have, but there is belief in our squad and we feel like we can beat anyone.

"I always believe in my ability, so it is all now about experience for me. I will improve and maybe I can help Everton break into that top group in the future, that is certainly my aim."