rotherham United will face Scottish Cup winners Hearts in their first full-capacity game at the New York Stadium.
The Edinburgh club will be there on Saturday, July 28, the Millers having been close to landing Everton for the game when the Stadium will be open to its full 12,000 capacity for the first time.
They are restricted to a half-capacity stadium for the opening game (Barnsley on July 21) and then three-quarters capacity for the second one (Doncaster Rovers on July 24).
Only then can everything be fully opened up and Hearts will be the attraction on that day. The home friendlies wind up with Sheffield United on July 31. Their very first friendly is against NCEL side Parkgate at the Green Lane ground that is also Rotherham’s training base. This next Saturday, July 14 (2pm).
“We wanted a run-out beforehand and wanted it to be in Rotherham and this is ideal,” said manager Steve Evans.
“The people here at Parkgate have been wonderful with us and we can give them something back and, hopefully, they’ll get a bumper crowd.
“Some of the first team squad will play but they’ll all be here.”
Meanwhile, the first team squad get down to the hard graft next week as their pre-season work steps up a level.
The first of the local clubs to report back when doing so last Monday, Evans said the early start was that with so many newcomers, an ‘easing in’ week helped everyone settle in and get to know each other.
“We also start as early as August 11 with the Capital One Cup game at Hull,” he said.
Steve Evans is guest at the Rotherham United Nostalgia Society meeting next Thursday at the Green Dragon (8.15). Ticket only by contacting organiser Danny Brailsford.