It seems like forever since their last match but, finally, the wait is over for Dundee fans with the Dark Blues’ season getting under way tonight.
It’s been a difficult wait for everyone associated with the club and all that’s occurred over the summer.
Finally, though, we can get back to some sort of normality for Dees as they see their team back in competitive action after almost seven months off, even if nobody is actually able to go and see the game physically.
And I’m really looking forward to seeing James McPake’s side get their season started.
If they can pick up a couple of wins against Forfar tonight and then Brora Rangers at the weekend it will give everyone at the club a huge lift.
And there’s also the prospect of Charlie Adam’s debut.
He’ll be a massive player for the Dark Blues in the season to come, he’s given the place a boost just by signing.
You can’t argue with that kind of quality coming in and adding to the team.
It’s now up to McPake to find the balance and get all his good players playing together.
There will be some tough decisions to make in the midfield area for him to make.
Choosing from Adam, Graham Dorrans, Paul McGowan, Fin Robertson and Shaun Byrne is a decent headache to have because they’re all excellent players.
I like the look of the first XI at the disposal of the Dens manager.
And there are a few good youngsters waiting for their chance to step up when needed too.
The summer was a very difficult one for the club with lockdown hurting finances and wage cuts and all that.
In forcing the Dark Blues to operate with a smaller squad, it could turn out to be a great thing in the long run.
There won’t be any option but to play academy products, though McPake hasn’t been slow to play them anyway.
Guys like Robertson and Max Anderson have just signed new deals.
Looking forward a year, with plenty of first-team experience under their belts and game time at Dens Park things could look really good for the club.
Hopefully, they’ll have blossomed into quality senior players that can either enjoy a number of successful years as Dundee players or can bring some cash into the club if they move on.
I’d always much rather see young players get their chance at clubs than others get brought in just because they have a bit more experience than the youngsters.
You do need a balance in that regard but Dundee have some real prospects.
And this season could be just the chance they need to really shine.
I always say when coaching young players that there will be a crossroads in where to take your career.
This season, with a small squad for McPake to choose from, might just be the chance they need to make a career for themselves.
Hopefully, we see a few of them tonight against Forfar.
I’ve had a worry about Dundee United for a wee while now and the game against Livingston certainly didn’t help that.
Only one shot on goal in 90 minutes at Tannadice is a big concern for me.
Micky Mellon’s side have looked OK in a lot of games this season but they’ve not been creating many chances.
I said a few weeks ago about only having one shot on target in each of the defeats to Celtic, Kilmarnock and Rangers.
They were all tough games but I was concerned. And I’m definitely worried after the Livi defeat.
Especially since they’ve not been defending too well either.
Sometimes coming away with a 0-0 after not playing well can feel as good as a win.
But defensive errors have gifted goals to the opposition a number of times now.
If you’re not creating at the other end, you can’t afford to give anything away at the back.
It’s a bad, bad combination. Experienced defenders like Mark Reynolds and Mark Connolly have to step up now.
There is a focus on both of them after errors that resulted in goals recently.
And they’ll have to respond to that by taking responsibility.
Taking on lower-league opposition in Brechin City and Peterhead might just be timed perfectly for Mellon’s men to sort themselves out.
Scotland will be at a disadvantage this week with no fans backing them for their big play-off against Israel at Hampden.
I’ve no doubt the empty stands played a big role in the weekend’s crazy results down south. Liverpool losing 7-2 to Aston Villa and Man U thumped 6-1 by Spurs are scary results, unheard of.
I’ve no doubt the lack of pressure from the stands is part of that.
Playing in front of 50,000, the spotlight was on you, the pressure unreal.
Playing in closed door games, sometimes it got slack – that’s what it looked like to me on Sunday.