The release of the new fixture list is always a significant moment in the summer as excitement ahead of the new season begins to build up.
It might be particularly tantalising, and equally daunting, for Rotherham fans this year given they are back in the Championship
Here’s five things to look out for when the new fixtures are released on Thursday.
Back to the Hawthorns
It has been 14 years since the Millers last played West Brom in the league, the longest of any of the teams in the Championship. Paul Warne might wish he could call on old pal Chris Sedgwick whenever the game at the Hawthorns comes around as he scored a fine solo goal in a 1-0 win in 2004, two years after famously clearing the ball from about two yards behind the line. The Millers did play at the Hawthorns in the League Cup back in 2009, but the trip to the Black Country will be one to look forward to.
Renewing a rivalry
Not many people would have expected a rivalry to develop between the Millers and Millwall. The seeds of a hostile relationship were sewn when the two were battling for promotion in Division Two in 2001, but it was in the 2014-15 campaign that the conflict gained fresh life. First Steve Evans’ side won a vital game at the AESSEAL New York Stadium which saw visiting fans retaliate by trying to storm into home sections of the crowd. Then when the Millers earned safety at the expense of the London club, Evans went into full-on goad mode, telling Lee Gregory to “enjoy League One son” and boasting about drinking pink champagne. The two games should be spicy.
Rotherham fans have been treated to some additional festive cheer as their team have had a very good record on Boxing Day, having lost just two of their last 11 games on that day. Four of the last five have been wins, with the other a late comeback to earn a 2-2 draw against Huddersfield. It is one of the most cherished fixtures of the footballing calendar so all eyes will be on who the Millers will be paired against on December 26. They were away at Bury last year, so they may get a home game this time around. Games should be on December 22, 26, 29 and January 1.
The Millers won’t be short of Yorkshire derbies on their return to the Championship. In fact, with the two Sheffield clubs, Leeds and Hull in the division, 17 per cent of their games will be games against fellow Yorkshire sides. Forgetting the miserable 2016-17 campaign, the Millers usually do well in those games, with Leeds particular bunny rabbits. There will be just a second league visit to NYS for Sheffield United and Hull.