The Star Says: Excitement builds ahead of the big kick off

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Football is back! Those three words are enough to strike joy into the hearts of thousands of people across our region.

They’ll also fill others with a sense of dread that the start of the football season also means that the summer holidays are dwindling away.

Although fans have waited for what seems like an age for the big kick off it has never seemed right to me that the season begins in early August when Test match cricket is still in full swing (just about in Australian’s case) and there are so many other summer sports that need the support of participants and volunteers to remain viable.

However, there’s no doubt the opening day is an exciting time with all our clubs hoping to either improve on last season or at least do no worse.

In the Championship no one really knows how Sheffield Wednesday’s new head coach and umpteen signings will do.

Can they push for a play-off place? Who knows?

Rotherham United, on paper at least, look stronger that last season but can take nothing for granted as they aim to remain in the second tier of English football.

Derbies abound in League One with this year surely being the time that Sheffield United are promoted. The Blades should go up with the strike-force that Nigel Adkins has assembled.

Doncaster Rovers and Barnsley will hope to challenge for play-off places and Chesterfield must regroup after losing so many of their stars from last season’s excellent campaign.

As you’d expect we’ll be there at every match following our teams home and away. This year The Star is providing an even more in depth service to cover all our teams throughout the campaign.

On match days we will have a dedicated live online page, which will be updated by our reporters at the grounds wherever United, Wednesday, Doncaster Rovers, Rotherham, Barnsley and Chesterfield are playing.

Match reports will be published within minutes of the final whistle with analysis and reaction following throughout the weekend.

Our 16-page Monday sports supplement, Full Time, will continue with the post-game analysis as we look back on the weekend’s football action.

Let’s hope there is plenty to celebrate this season.