Advance warning to anyone driving south of Andover this coming Saturday.

There is a high chance you might see me in a car heading up a road that does not lead to Upper Clatford under-11s' pitch.

That is because I very rarely go anywhere in the Testway Youth League without getting lost en route.

I do not count my son’s home games in the above sentence, but only because I happen to live on the same road as the school which hosts Fordingbridge Town under-11 matches.

Otherwise I would no doubt get lost.

For an 'outsider' like myself - who wasn't born and bred in this area - the list of places I must transport Ben to in order for him to play football might as well be written in Hebrew or Chinese.

On being told last season's fixture list, my first as a parent of a Testway Youth League footballer, the conversation went something like this: Me: So who's in our division, then?

Friend: Well, we have to go to Clarendon.

Me: Where on earth is that?

Friend: And Upper Clatford.

Me: Upper where?

Friend: And South Wonston.

Me: And where on earth is THAT?

Friend: And Worthys.

Me: You're having me on?

Friend: And Wallop.

Me: Middle or Upper?

(Actually, I didn't say that, I just burst out laughing).

Without a SatNav, I knew I'd be in trouble.

This is the story of my life, though. Getting lost on the road to nowhere.

I've always enjoyed away games.

During my fever pitch days of following Exeter City, it was the away games I most wanted to attend.

I loved the travelling to somewhere new, visiting different grounds, drinking in different pubs, seeing different parts of England and Wales.

Really nice bits, like Preston council estates.

And when I played in the Blackmore Vale Sunday League, it was always the away trips I looked forward to.

That was despite not having the faintest idea where most of the pitches we were playing at were.

The Blackmore Vale League took in large parts of Dorset and Somerset, and as such there were some fair distances to travel.

One week we could be getting lost on the way to Castle Cary in mid Somerset, the next getting lost on the way to Sixpenny Handley in south Dorset.

It was quite easy to do, and we managed it often. After all, there were no towering floodlights to look out for, no crowds to follow.

And all for 90 minutes of, at times, dreadfully poor quality football.

Thank God I had a company car back then, and could charge the mileage to my work account.

Shaston Sports, Child Okeford, Three Legged Cross, Sturminster Marshall .. we got lost on the way to most of them.

These were not only pre SatNav days, but pre mobile phone days as well. If and when you got lost on the way to a field with some posts in somewhere in the middle or Dorset - ok,'when' rather than 'if' - you were on your own.

And if you weren't on your own, you were stuck with some team-mates you were giving a lift to who also had not the foggiest idea where Child Okeford was. Let alone Child Okeford's pitch.

And there are some very narrow lanes in the middle of Dorset.

And lots of tractors.

You could not rely on the locals to help you. Absolutely not.

Though the following conversation is not repeated verbatim – it was 20 years ago or so – this is the sort of verbal exchange I used to have while trying to find our opponents’ ground.

Remember, this is the middle of Dorset.

Me (winding down window): Excuse me, can you help?

Local: Oil try.

Me: Can you tell me where Child Okeford’s ground is?

Local (raising eyebrow, note the singular use ...): Say again?

Me: Child Okeford’s football ground.

Local (very puzzled look on face): Now let me think ...

Me: Is it this way? (points down the road) Local: Oi think it’s that way (points in totally different direction) Me: But Child Okeford’s that way! (points down the road) Local: Oi think you’re right.

Me (getting exasperated): It must be around here somewhere!

Local: Oi think you’re right.

Me: I’ll find someone else to ask, thanks Local: Oi don’t think you’ll find anyone else out here at this time of day. Certainly no one with a brain*.

Frustrated, I used to drive off in the exact opposite direction to which I’d been told to go and, invariably, would find the ground about 100 yards away.

For Child Okeford, read Upper Clatford, South Wonston, Andover New Street.

Yes, I know where these places are on a map, but quite often the grounds can be incredibly tough to find.

No-one can get lost trying to find our ground in Fordingbridge, it’s in Burgate School fields just off the A338.

Even the sort of person I used to come across in Child Okeford couldn’t miss it.

If only everywhere else in the league could be so easy.

Never mind, at least my mate Steve is driving to Clatford this weekend.

He’s got a SatNav, a brand new one.

It’s got to be a brand new one, as he left his other one in Salisbury hospital a few weeks ago.

That was the day the SatNav was held up as offering the best and quickest route to Tidworth’s ground.

The route it gave us was totally different to the one I’d looked up on a map as being the quickest, and inevitably – despite leading the convoy of parents’ cars out of Fordingbridge, we were among the last to get to the ground.

On finally approaching the venue, one of the other parents’ went past us on the opposite side of the road going completely the wrong way.

It was the highlight of the morning, especially as we went on lose the game 6-2.

So please don’t be worried this Saturday if you see a car containing some kids in football kit and some parents waving their arms around and pointing down country lanes.

We’re not dangerous. We’re just lost.

PS In closing this week, can I say many congratulations to our team manager Mike and his wife Paula on their birth of their third son, Zachary Jake, this week.

No doubt a future Testway Youth League footballer in the making. And, therefore, lots more chances for Mike to get lost en route to games.

* They didn’t really say that, I made that bit up.