It's been roughly 12 months now since last year's summer signings have been at the club. There have been some great moments from our new players, and equally a few lows! But how well have they done in their debut seasons?
Now I know what you’re thinking but hear me out. Celebrating the promotion of our greatest rivals seems spineless and cowardly, especially as they were the ones that dumped us out of the play-offs, but as I sat watching the second spectacular goal scored by that **** Nathan Redmond, I couldn’t help but ask myself whether this was really such a bad thing.
Looking back on this season and most of us would admit Ipswich reached or exceeded our expectations, but after coming so close to success we are now all hungry for more - and for Ipswich to take that next step and challenge for automatic promotion.
After the heartache comes the reflection. For a second, we had a glimpse of the Premier League. Just a glimpse – and it was as beautiful as we remembered. It reignited that spark of hope in all our hearts, the dream that, one day, we might find a better place to play. But for now, Sally can wait.
We all will be forced to remember the excruciatingly disappointing end to the 2014/15 season. 4-2 on aggregate we lost to that lot up the road. We pretty much nailed it at home with the 1-1 draw. We kept them at bay and matched them in every area. But away at Carrow Road it all just fell apart. But why exactly?
Few if any of our players have ever played in a game as big as Saturday’s at Carrow Road. A local derby, with the winner going to Wembley - could it be any more important? After a furious tussle at Portman Road, it has all come down to this.
We made it. In the end we made it by a hair’s breadth, by a missed Darren Bent penalty, by Noel Hunt’s last-gasp winner against Charlton, by any number of scrambled, lucky, happy moments. But we made it. And if it were easy, it wouldn’t be Ipswich.
I fear nothing in the play-offs. Some say we struggle against the big teams. Given the disappointing results against our northern neighbours this might seem credible. But, objectively, what do this year's results suggest?
On Easter Monday last year I took my 86-year-old father to his first football match. I had recently moved back from Wiltshire to support my ageing parents. Although not ideal, this did enable me to come to regular home matches having only recently seen Town play at Reading, Bristol or Cardiff and very occasionally at Portman Road.
Two games. 180 minutes. That’s all it is. All that stands between us and a place in the top six. Another 180 minutes. The chance of a Wembley final. Possibly against our nearest and not so dearest. It’s all in our hands. We can reach out and touch it. Thirteen years of hurt could be ended. We’re almost there.
The ball is shifted sideways. There’s space to go forwards, space to meet it, space to shoot. But just as people all around Portman Road begin to lift up in their seats, they realise with an upsetting sense of inevitability – it’s Cole Skuse.
As we celebrate the day Christians say defined history - our beloved Town take on high flying Bournemouth in the game that will surely define our season - and possibly theirs. They are high flying and I'll be looking to the Sky... as I sit in front of the TV in the home of many Bournemouth fans to shout for my team!
This is undoubtedly the most exciting time to be an Ipswich Town supporter in a decade. For the first time since the days of Joe Royle, we have a chance of promotion, possibly automatic. Being sat in sixth place with seven games left, the task is in our own hands.