ADAM Barrett will be battling guilt when he lines up for AFC Wimbledon at Southend United tonight.
The Benfleet based 34-year-old grew up supporting the Shrimpers before spending six mostly successfully seasons playing for the club.
And the centre back therefore always finds it strange lining up against Blues.
“I played against Southend a couple of times with Gillingham and I must admit it does feel very strange,” said Barrett, who made 289 appearances for the Shrimpers.
“Obviously I’m a professional footballer and once the game starts I want the team I’m playing for to always win “But when it’s against Southend I almost feel a sense of guilt and it’s just very weird.
“Coming back here always brings back some very special memories though as it’s where I first watched football as a kid.
“I also spent the best years of my career playing for the club and I think everyone knows what Southend United means to me.”
Barrett is spending the first two months of the season on loan at AFC Wimbledon after being falling out of favour at Gillingham.
And the defender was delighted his short stint with the Dons coincides with their visit to Roots Hall for this evening’s encounter. “I was really happy when I saw the fixtures and it included a game at Southend because it will be good to see a lot of familiar faces and all the fans again,” said Barrett.
“Lots of my family and friends support the club so I still know what’s going on and it was disappointing they missed out in the play-offs last season.
“However, they will definitely be in the mix this season and could well go one better this time.”
Barrett is therefore expecting a tough test against the new look Shrimpers tonight.
Phil Brown’s team have triumphed in their opening two league games of the current campaign.
And the centre-back knows all about the problems Lee Barnard and Myles Weston could both pose the Dons.
“I’ve played in the same side as them both, they’re great lads and good players too,” said Barrett.
“I got on well with Barney when we were at Southend together and if he’s fit he will get goals.
“If you give him a half chance he will take it and that’s something we’re going to have to be very wary of this evening.
“Myles is also a great guy and I think he will be a really good signing for Southend.
“But hopefully we can keep him quiet and continue our own good start.”