It’s been 10 days since Rotherham’s season ended in glory with that memorable Wembley win, but we’re already getting twitchy in anticipation of next term.
There is of course the World Cup to fix our football needs, but it is not long until things start happening in relation to the Millers to whet your appetite for life back in the Championship.
Here are some key dates to look out for over the summer.
The moment when it will fully dawn on us just how tough life back in the second tier will be is likely to come on Thursday 21 June at 9am. That’s when the 2018-19 fixtures are released and you can start planning your away days.
The first-round draw for the Carabao Cup is likely to take place in the days preceding that. Last year’s draw was done in Thailand.
The selections for the opening round of fixtures will also be announced by Sky Sports on Thursday 21 June. Unless the Millers are paired against West Brom, Stoke or Swansea on the opening day, it is unlikely they will get picked.
Return to training
With Paul Warne and Richie Barker away on holiday there has been no official date announced for when the players will return to pre-season training. They reported to Roundwood on 4 July last year, so anywhere in the early part of the week commencing 2 July is a likely bet for them starting – a little over three weeks.
The annual hammering of Parkgate will open the Millers’ pre-season campaign on 7 July. Games against Sheffield FC and Stocksbridge (17 July), Cardiff (25 July) and Mansfield (28 July) have also been announced.
After the success of last season was, in part, attributed to the long hill runs in Austria, Warne is likely to want to take his side away again. There is a handy looking gap between the opening fixture against Parkgate and the two on the same night against local non-league sides where a 10-day break could be fitted in. With the management staff and club officials out of the country, there could be news on this next week.
The Millers will kick their first competitive ball over the weekend of 3-5 August. There is one TV game planned for Friday night and another for the Sunday.
Warne has said he wants to get most of his business done before pre-season kicks into full swing, but should he need to make any last-minute additions, he will have until Thursday 9 August to make any signings before the summer transfer window shuts.
The Millers will play their first round of the Carabao Cup in the week commencing 12 August. As a Championship club, they will be one of the seeds in the northern section of the draw.