The football fixtures are released this week so we asked a reporter from each of our clubs to write about a match they can’t wait to see next season. Here are their thoughts.

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Sheffield United

Wolves could be wonderful, Rotherham riveting and the meetings with Brentford pretty bombastic affairs.

Purely for footballing reasons, though, the first match I’ll look for when Sheffield United’s fixtures are released this week is their match against Bristol City at Ashton Gate.

Admittedly not the most glamorous date on the League One calendar. Nor the clash likely to generate most column inches or be eagerly awaited by fans.

But, with former Doncaster Rovers manager Sean O’Driscoll at the helm and his counterpart David Weir emphasising the importance of playing football with style, this meeting between two teams harbouring high hopes of reaching the Championship should enthrall purists and pragmatists alike.

O’Driscoll, as his record at the Keepmoat Stadium proves, is something of a slow burn among coaches.

Someone who seldom makes an immediate impact but, through patience and persistence, invariably builds a squad possessing plenty of imagination and technique.

The presence of John Pemberton, United’s former academy director, in the opposition dug-out provides another intriguing sub-plot to an encounter between two ambitious clubs led by principled individuals.

Closer to home, the Yorkshire derbies with newly promoted Bradford City are also ‘must-watch’ games given the momentum and feel-good factor Phil Parkinson has brought to Valley Parade.


Sheffield Wednesday

The first thing I’ll be looking forward to is seeing that it’s definitely the Championship fixture list that the Owls will be on.

It has sometimes been a little bit too exciting/nerve wracking in the last few seasons for Wednesdayites since Milan Mandaric saved the club from financial ruin.

So a nice run-of-the-mill second tier match against Derby County or Middlesbrough at home could be mildly reassuring to see.

A decent crowd, a toughish match but one that Wednesday should win if they’re hoping to improve on last year.

However, I’m going to choose a fixture that could have a bit of spice if a certain player is still at the opposition.

QPR’s visit to Hillsborough will be interesting if former loanee Jay Bothroyd is named in the starting 11 for the London club.

He fell out with Wednesdayites almost from the off and is sure to get a, shall we say, mixed reception if he steps foot on Sheffield 6 turf again.

Oh, and I think QPR will be a decent team if Harry Redknapp is still their manager so it may be a good game too.

Football is nearly back...


Doncaster Rovers

If there’s one abiding memory of Queens Park Rangers’ exit from the Premier League, it came at Reading just seconds after Harry Redknapp’s men were condemned to the Championship

When Jose Bosingwa was caught on camera laughing as he went down the tunnel, it rather summed up what many people thought was the problem at Loftus Road - too many playboys, not enough passion.

Money certainly did not bring happiness for Rangers’ mega-rich chairman Tony Fernandes, and I for one can’t wait to see how they do against the ‘likes of Doncaster’ next season.

They might be worlds apart in terms of wealth and resources, but Rangers and Rovers start on a level playing field; a collection of overpaid individuals against a group of lads who gave absolutely everything for the cause and reaped the rewards that genuine team spirit can bring.

Rovers might have eight cracking Yorkshire derbies to look forward to next season, and the renewed rivalries with Leeds United, Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley in particular are games to cherish.

But, for me, it’s the trip to Shepherd’s Bush which is the one to look out for.

It marks the fact that Doncaster are back among the big boys, and at Loftus Road Rovers can prove that football is not all about how much money you have.



There’s so many great fixtures for Barnsley to look forward next season, especially with Wigan, Reading and QPR all competing in the Championship after their respective relegation from the Premier League.

And equally there are intriguing tests which lie ahead for the Reds against the three sides that won promotion from League One with Doncaster Rovers, Bournemouth and Brentford all looking to cement their stay in the second tier.

But for me the game of the season - and there are some great ones to look forward - is the Reds’ South Yorkshire derby with Sheffield Wednesday.

It’s so hard to look past this fixture as arguably the biggest game both sides will play, especially because of the great rivalry between the two sides and the local bragging rights always at stake.

Granted, there’s other Yorkshire derbies against Leeds United and Huddersfield to whet the appetite and, of course, against Rovers now they are back in the Championship.

But the Reds against the Owls never fails to excite both sets of supporters and, this season, there could be added spice with striker Chris O’Grady now highly likely to be playing Barnsley against his former employees.

And the Reds will want revenge against the Owls this term having lost twice to them last term and not beaten them in the last four meetings between the two clubs.


Rotherham United

There is one game that the overwhelming majority of Rotherham United fans will be eagerly awaiting above all others when the new season’s fixtures surface this Wednesday.

Okay, the first glance at the list may well be at who they play in their opening game on the return to League One.

Then, after that, it’ll probably be the first away game (if you start with a home game) or the first home game (if you’re away first up).

Oh, and everybody looks where they are on Boxing Day. And then looks for the other Christmas fixture.

But you can be sure that the list will be eagerly scanned for the headline-grabber - that’s when Sheffield United are playing at the New York Stadium.

You can have Wolves and Coventry and anybody else who’s been in the Premier League in the not too distant past. The Blades game is the big one next season for obvious reasons.

It will be a guaranteed full house and certainly a guaranteed noisy afternoon (or night) in a stadium designed with acoustics in minds.

Of course, United have already been there (and won) in a pre-season friendly last Summer.

And one aspect of games between the clubs that Millers fans won’t be looking forward to is their record against the Blades - very rarely have they won when the Blades have ventured across from Bramall Lane.



To look for Spireites most anticipated fixtures of the new season, search no further than the two successful Conference clubs.

Whilst near neighbours Mansfield Town, who had a stunning second half to last season, are the obvious team to look out for, play-off winners Newport County also one of the names to look out for, the away fixture at least.

Back in 1988 a skint County side slipped unceremoniously out of the league, just seven years after a John Aldridge inspired team had played so heroically in the quarter-finals of the European Cup Winners Cup.

Somerton Park was their home then, that’s long gone now and County, after several temporary homes, thave taken up residence alongside the town’s rugby club at Rodney Parade. New grounds are always an adventure and Chesterfield’s trip to Gwent will be the fixture I look forward to the most.

But don’t kid yourself that every other Chesterfield connection won’t be looking for the two Stags games ahead of all others!

Chesterfield hosted (and beat 3-1) Mansfield last time out, when the Nottinghamshire side were plucky non-leaguers in 2008. In their last season as one of the 92 Club, Stags were beaten twice by a Jack Lester led Chesterfield and Proact goers will expect nothing less than ‘same again.’