SUPPORTING the right team as a child can be a complicated affair these days.
Getting it right is important because and you can't, or shouldn't, change it and the team you support so often defines you in life.
Certainly when first introduced and that seemingly innocent icebreaker is asked. Which team do you support then? Followed by - how come?
Say Manchester United and you are from - let's say - Ipswich and you will be labeled a glory-hunter and respect is lost.
Say Ipswich and people will nod and ask whatever happened to them, they used to be a favourite second team. What happened with Roy Keane?
Say Colchester United and you will gain instant sympathy mingled with bewilderment, especially when you follow up with -'want to come and watch the Mighty U's with me?’
And so it goes on. 
But many kids want to support Manchester United or Chelsea because they are the ones they see on telly most weeks, if not days, and have triumphed most often of late. The red Man U kit is as ubiquitous in the Home Counties as it is in the north west, it is, some might argue, more common down south than in Manchester itself.
I will never forget reporting an Ipswich game at Old Trafford when the announcer called for the secretary of the Bristol and Bath supporters' branch to contact the nearest steward - oh how the travelling Town fans mocked.
Even Man City winning the FA Cup hardly made a ripple and Arsenal and Liverpool's popularity is seemingly on the wane. And these days you are as likely to see a Barcelona shirt as a Col U shirt in north Essex.
In my day it was simple - you supported your home team, in my case Newcastle United and while winning the Inter City Fairs Cup back in 1969 had some kudos in the playground -there has not been much to shout about since - FA Cup final defeats aside.
But it doesn't appear to be that simple anymore. My lad seemed bent on being a Man U or Chelsea fan. Chelsea because they play in blue and do well whenever he gets them on FIFA 11. Man U mainly because Wayne Rooney plays for them and he supported him in an England shirt. Rooney also scores all the goals in FIFA 11, but he was put off by seeing him swear into a camera last season and then Barca outplay them for real in the Champions' League final. Oh, and it seems my banging on about band-wagons and glory-hunters has sunk in.
So he went off that idea. Following in his dad's footsteps and joining the Toon Army was a non-starter, and while he flirted with the idea of supporting Colchester United after a visit to their open day, the choice boiled down to one team. Ipswich Town, his nearest club and it helps they play in blue.  
He will see Ipswich play 'live' tomorrow night when I take him to the friendly against Col U and I have no doubt he will stay loyal to them (he had better after forking out nearly 70 quid for complete kit with name and number) but I suspect Man U will stay his second team for a few more seasons yet.

But I'm curious. How did you, or son/daughter choose your team?