Dundee kick off the 2021/22 season as a newly-promoted Premiership club.
However, their league bow has to wait until the end of the month.
That’s because their first assignment is the freshly-branded Premier Sports Cup.
That’s the League Cup to traditionalists, a competition the Dark Blues haven’t had great success in over the years.
It remains the last major trophy the club lifted back in 1973/74. Since then they’ve been finalists twice and made the last four on three occasions.
The last of those was in 2003/04 – a run that included a hat-trick from a certain Fabrizio Ravanelli.
Whether this season’s Dark Blues go deep into the tournament we’ll have to wait and see.
First of all they have the group stage to navigate.
So what challenges do they face?
Brora Rangers (h), July 13
For the second season running the Dark Blues kick off their campaign against Highland League champions Brora.
This time the contest takes place at Dens Park with the visitors already having a game under their belts on Saturday, losing 3-0 to Montrose.
The Dark Blues have had to wait a little longer than most, though they did take on English Premier League side West Ham on Friday.
Dundee will have a few changes in their side. Most notably for Brora could be former Dens skipper Josh Meekings.
The 28-year-old left the Dark Blues last summer but has returned to the Highlands after a short spell down south.
Ross County (a), July 18
Providing the Staggies are back in action following their Covid shutdown, the Dingwall side will be Dundee’s first Premiership opposition of the season.
The clash could very well be a weather vane for the Dark Blues’ chances in the top flight.
It’s a new dawn for the Highlanders, too, with Malky Mackay having taken over from John Hughes and this will be his first match in charge.
It’s also likely to be a debut for former Dundee loanee Ross Callachan after he joined from Hamilton.
There are big changes in the Staggies squad, however, with the likes of Michael Gardyne, Billy Mckay, Ross Draper, Iain Vigurs and Carl Tremarco all having departed.
Montrose (a), July 21
The first competitive meeting between the sides since 2010 and only the third since the clubs were both in Division One in 1991/92.
A lot has changed at Links Park over the last few seasons with boss Stewart Petrie transforming the Gable Endies from a bottom-end League Two side into a top-half League One outfit.
This summer they have added some new faces with Mark Whatley from Arbroath, Chris Antoniazzi from Forfar joining club favourite Blair Lyons in signing on.
Also snapped up is Craig Brown from Stirling University, grandson of the former Dee league winner and Scotland boss of the same name.
Already on the books of course are former Dundee defender Kerr Waddell and Dundee United legend Sean Dillon.
Forfar (h), July 24
For the final match of the group stage there will be plenty of familiar faces on show, not least because they played each other in a friendly a fortnight ago.
— Dundee Football Club (@DundeeFC) June 26, 2021
Gary Irvine is in full-time charge of the Loons and has, of course, been joined on his coaching staff by another Dundee favourite Gary Harkins and current Dens U/18s coach Scott Robertson.
Irvine and Harkins may well be involved in the squad alongside ex-Dens striker Steven Doris.
Also on the books is former Dundee United midfielder Craig Slater.
Officially Dundee’s last home meeting with the Loons was a 3-0 win last season but that came after Forfar forfeited the fixture.
Their last actual meeting was in 2016 as the Dee romped to a 7-0 win with two goals from Greg Stewart and one notably from Yordi Teijsse.