Norwich City goalkeeping legend Kevin Keelan ? who will be returning to Norfolk for the club's Greatest Ever event on May 18 ? has admitted that when it comes to pulling on the yellow and green shirt, there is nothing quite like an East Anglian derby.
With the clock ticking down to Sunday's grudge match against their 'friends' on the other side of the River Waveney, supporters' thoughts will now be fully focused on the noon showdown at Portman Road.
Both clubs desperately need the points ? the Blues to reignite their play-off hopes and the Canaries to allay any relegation fears – and despite the early kick-off time, the atmosphere is guaranteed to be white hot. For the fans of both clubs, this is the big one.
And according to Keelan ? a veteran of an incredible 673 appearances and 17 years at Carrow Road ? the clash between the two big-hitters in this part of the world is up there with the best of them.
Yes, the Merseyside derby is special. Yes, the Manchester derby is passionate. But, the Norfolk vs Suffolk bout is just as ferocious ? and it's going to be around forever.
“The rivalry will never die, it's always been there,” admitted Keelan, speaking from his Florida home. “It's a great thing and it is even more intense when both clubs are in the same division.
“You've got the Liverpool and Everton derby and all the London ones but I think the East Anglian derby is a great rivalry.
“During my time at Norwich I think we fared pretty well against them. They are always closely fought and pretty gruelling games. There was one particular occasion I remember when it was a bitterly cold day and the pitch turned into an ice rink. The crowd went a bit beserk that day but the games were always good fun.”
And did he have any words of advice for the players stepping into the cauldron this weekend? After all, in this day and age of loan players and short-term contracts, it is more difficult to build an affinity with a club.
Being the club's record appearance maker, it is safe to say Keelan holds the Canaries close to his heart. But does the modern day player know what it's like to have the hopes of a whole county resting on their shoulders?
“It is easy for the manager to motivate players on derby day, they motivate themselves. They are just great occasions and I loved them, I really did. I've got great memories of games against Ipswich.
“You look for that fixture as soon as they come out and you know what it means to the supporters, no matter how long you have been at the club.”
The City legend, who is based in the US, also revealed that despite being recently retired, he is still as devoted as ever to coaching and if the great man is to be believed, there is plenty of untapped talent waiting to cross the pond and have a crack at English football.
He coaches most nights of the week in his native Tampa and there are plenty of diamonds out there. Getting them over to the big time is another matter though?
“I've retired now but I'm still coaching four nights a week in Tampa,” added Keelan. “We prepare the kids through the youth system and see if we can get them into a decent college and maybe into the MLS after that.
“The standard is good, especially for goalkeepers. Most of the games over here are hand games so that is not surprising. But I wish it was easier for these boys ? who have a lot of potential ? to get into clubs back in England. I'd love to get somebody into Norwich City.
“Saying that, Norwich have never been short of good goalkeepers. They have served the club very well. From Ken Nethercott through to Chris Woods, Bryan Gunn and Robert Green – and I think they let Robert go a bit cheaply by the way.
“But there are not as many good, young English goalkeepers as there used to be. There is one kid at Manchester United I like – Ben Foster. He impressed me when he was on loan at Watford and he really caught my eye but you don't really see anybody coming through like they used to.
“England has always been blessed with great goalkeepers. When I was playing, any of the top 10 English keepers could have played for any international team but I don't think there is that depth any more.”
Keelan's appearance at the club's Greatest Ever event ? which will see City's 'dream team' unveiled, alongside live music and entertainment – will be his first trip back to these shores for a while.
But the City legend does not need much of an excuse to return his beloved Norfolk. And he, for one, cannot wait.
“I'm looking forward to it and coming back to Carrow Road will be special for me. My 17 years there were particularly good for me and I would have thought that the build-up for this event has started already.”