Teams: Derby County, Burton Albion
Lewis Hunt makes his first return to Pride Park on Saturday, having reluctantly left Derby County two years ago to put his career back on track.
Birmingham-born Hunt came up through the system and broke into the first team under John Gregory before his fortunes changed.
Now the 24-year-old is looking to help Southend record their first away win in the Championship against the club which gave him his chance in professional football.
"After winning promotion last season the game at Derby was the first I looked for when the fixtures came out," said Hunt.
"I'm looking forward to going back for the first time.
"Derby is still close to my heart.
They gave me my chance and I'll always be grateful."
Hunt is a centre-back or right-back who can also fill a central midfield role, something he is doing for Southend at the moment.
He made 13 appearances in a Rams shirt, mostly in the 2002-03 campaign.
It would have been more had he not broken an ankle against Portsmouth and torn a thigh muscle at Sheffield United.
George Burley was in charge the following season and named Hunt out of position at right wing-back in the opener at home to Stoke City.
Burley surprisingly went for a system of three centre-backs and named a side with an average age of 22, including 16-year-old Tom Huddlestone who was making his debut.
The selection backfired as Stoke raced into a two-goal lead and eventually ran out comfortable 3-0 winners.
Hunt was substituted after only 32 minutes and never appeared for the first team again.
"That was a strange day, and we played a strange system," Hunt recalls.
"George Burley decided to take me off after half an hour.
"I was suddenly out of the first-team picture and it knocked my confidence.
"I was only 20 at the time and it took me a while to get over the disapppointment but you learn from experiences and I think it has made me stronger."
He joined Southend on loan in October 2003 and the move became permanent in July 2004.
"I felt it was important for me to be playing first team football," said Hunt.
"In an ideal world I wanted my first-team football to be at Derby but I was not featuring under Burley.
"I knew I had to take a step backwards in order to move forwards again. Southend gave me the chance to do that and I'm now back at Championship level and enjoying my football."
Hunt has had his injury troubles at Southend but has also tasted plenty of success. Steve Tilson's side beat Lincoln City in the League Two play-off final in May 2005 and lifted the League One title last season.
They have also played in two LDV Vans Trophy finals, meaning three trips to the Millennium Stadium.
"The club has been on a high in the past few seasons," said Hunt. "The season we went up from League Two through the play-offs everybody had expected us to struggle. They also expected us to struggle in League One last season and we won the title."
Hunt says he keeps in touch with Rams players Lee Grant, Lee Camp and Adam Bolder.
"There have been a few text messages flying about this week," he added.
Lewis Hunt is not the only ex-Derby County player in the Southend United camp.
Spencer Prior and Lee Bradbury are also at Roots Hall.
Prior (35) has been out with a knee injury in recent weeks having started the season in the side.
A solid, experienced defender, he joined Derby from Leicester City in August 1998 for £700,000.
He made 63 appearances for the Rams, 54 in the Premiership, before moving to Manchester City in March 2000.
Prior has played for six clubs during his career but not as many as Bradbury.
Southend are the 31-year-old striker's 10th different club.
He had two loan spells at Derby during the 2003-04 season.
Didn't know Hunt played for Southend, one of the youngsters that just disappeared, though he might have gone the same way as Gary Twigg, good too see him making a career for himslef.
Originally Posted by Nico
I dont belive in jinxing mate, I do belive in playing at home with a 2-0 advantage against a team which I cant see scoring 2 goals!
Of course, if we lose, I'll never admit it was me who wrote this.
Forest 2-5 Yeovil aet
Brian Clough - Legend!