Excitement is already mounting after confirmation that 2011/12 Champions League winners and Premier League heavyweights Chelsea are to send a team to face Ilkeston FC at the New Manor Ground for a glamorous pre-season friendly in the summer.
The eyecatching match on Tuesday July 30 will be all-ticket for supporters and will kick-off at 7.30pm.
It is sure to spark a huge amount of interest in the town and throughout the rest of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire with Chelsea one of the biggest names in British and WORLD football.
Between now and the game, there is also likely to be plenty of speculation as to just how strong the Blues’ line-up will be, considering they have an embarrassment of playing riches including the likes of £50 million man Fernando Torres, fellow Spaniard Juan Mata and England players Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard.
It also remains to be seen as to who will lead Chelsea to Ilkeston as interim boss Rafael Benitez is likely to leave at the end of the season and Jose Mourinho is hotly-tipped to make a return to the Stamford Bridge outfit.
The match has been secured partly due to Robins manager Kevin Wilson having strong ties with Chelsea as a former player for the Londoners. He made 152 appearances and scored 42 goals between 1987 to 1992.
Wilson said: “It will be a massive night for me personally to see Chelsea running out at the New Manor Ground but more important still, it’s a real step forward for this football club.
“The coaching staff at Chelsea are aware of how we are running the club and the work we are doing within our academy and although it was a bit of a ‘long shot’ when we approached them about coming to play us, they responded very positively.
“I’m extremely grateful to them. It will be a brilliant way to generate interest within the Erewash area and set us up for the new season.
“We cannot say for sure at this stage what team they will be sending. But any side that Chelsea put out will be strong - and it will be a real privilege to play them in a pre-season game.”
The Chelsea visit is just one of several attractive pre-season games the Robins are planning and Wilson is hoping to receive confirmation in the next few days from the clubs involved.