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 for Rotherham fans this year given they will be in relatively new surroundings and will be presented with some potentially winnable games in League One.
Here’s five things to look out for when the new fixtures are released on Wednesday.
Renewing a rivalry
It has been three years since Rotherham have had the chance to beat Bradford, but that is a rivalry that will resume following the Bantams’ play-off loss last season. The West Yorkshire side were bunny rabbits during the Steve Evans era when the Millers won six out of seven games against them, while also effectively winning promotion at Valley Parade. Bradford have never scored at New York Stadium so this will be a go-to match-up with both teams hoping to be in a promotion challenge.
Meeting old neighbours
It has been over a decade since Rotherham met Doncaster in a competitive fixture as the two sides have dodged each other with relegations and promotions. It is a South Yorkshire rivalry that is felt more fiercely up the M18 but the Millers will still want bragging rights. It will be a first New York visit for Rovers, which their fans will surely enjoy, while Rotherham will want to put right their only prior visit to the Keepmoat. Expect one of these games to fall during a festive period.
A returning hero
There’s a very high chance that Paul Hurst will one day be occupying the home dugout at New York, but his first visit will be along the touchline when Shrewsbury come to town. Nothing out of the ordinary to look forward to there, but it will be nice to see Hurst back at the club – he is the record appearance holder after all – and he is worthy of a good reception. He is big pals with those frequenting the home dugout so the beers will be flowing when he visits Paul Warne’s office after the game – a place he may one day call his.
A returning villain
Despite managing Rotherham, Kenny Jackett has been in charge of as many games at New York as a visiting boss than he did during his paltry 39 days at the Millers helm. Seven months on we still don’t know the real reason why Jackett walked out on Rotherham, but what we do know is that it left the club in a mess. He is back in work with Portsmouth which means a return to South Yorkshire beckons – and a hostile reception might well too.
Boxing Day cheer
Rotherham fans have been treating some additional festive cheer as their team have had a very good record on Boxing Day, having lost just two of their last 10 games on that day. Three of the last four 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. Having been at home for the last three years, it may be time to dig out the sat nav.