PLEASE allow me to reminisce for a while (well for about 400 words).

The date, Saturday, March 25, 2000. The place, Hamlet Croft, Haverhill. The reason, my first football match for the local paper.

Haverhill Rovers v March Town United was watched by barely 50 people but it included a young whipper-snapper left wondering how it all works. 

I don't remember the score, or even the match, but it left a mark.

In the subsequent years, I had some great times covering the Rovers, playing the odd reserve game, joining them on tour and even going to the hallowed Portman Road as the club tried, but failed, to bring home the Suffolk Senior Cup.

The football was not always the greatest (sorry guys) and the dilapidated stand certainly wasn't. In the middle of the night, I can sometimes still feel the icy chill that used to blow straight through the heart of the rickety 'seating' area. 

But for the loyal and hardened few, too few, you got to see some decent players, eat a half-decent burger, drink a less-than-decent coffee, and still have change from a £10 note - and yes, I understand how old I sound.

Working with the Rovers made me appreciate how dedicated and committed the club's volunteers were. Put simply, as with any amateur sport, there would be no 3pm kick off without the tireless work of club officials and backroom staff.

This is something I know every non-league club in the region can relate to. 

The reason why I dedicate this Ipswich Town blog to a Ridgeons League Premier Division side is that tomorrow night, my career goes full circle.

After Town kick off their pre-season friendlies against FC Eindhoven and before Thursday's match with Den Bosch, my first proper game covering the Super Blues, well a largely Under-18s version anyway, will be at the New Croft, the plush new home of Haverhill Rovers.

The old stand might have gone, but most of the club's fantastic and unsung heroes remain. 

It may not be Paul Jewell, Michael Chopra and Lee Bowyer. But the pre-season friendly will give Town fans a chance to glimpse at the stars of tomorrow. And if Josh Carson is anything to go by, one or two of Russell Osman's team could even be playing for the Blues in the Championship in the next nine months.

As for Rovers, and every other non-league side for that matter, they need your support. And not just for the visit of Ipswich Town.