HALSTEAD Town are getting ready to welcome some rather special visitors as Mark McLean's side continue their encouraging preparations for the Thurlow Nunn League division one south campaign with a free night of footballing action.

McLean is delighted that his side have hit the ground running in their summer training and early pre-season fixtures and they are set to continue on Tuesday with an eye-catching match against an Army team from the Parachute Regiment.

Entry will be free for the game (kick-off 7.45pm) at the Milbank Stadium and there will be collection buckets around the ground as a fundraiser for the Support Our Paras charity.

The Colchester-based Army side, who have just returned from Italy, are warming up for a big game themselves - against the Royal Marines when they will be going head-to-head for the Falklands Cup - and are set to pose a big test for Halstead.

But that is just what McLean wants from his team's pre-season fixtures and hopes fans will support this special event.

McLean said: "We're really excited to have the Paras coming along and it's going to be a great match.

"They are a really good footballing side and we're delighted to be hosting them.

"They have a massive game coming up against the Royal Marines.

"Pete, my number two, was in the Paras and knows all about them and it's one we're very much looking forward to. "There'll be collections around the ground to help a very good cause and I know they'll be bringing a lot of people over so it will be a great atmosphere.

"It's free to get in as well so hopefully we'll see a lot of people coming along to support it."