Making it work will no doubt be a massive task but Dundee United are one of Scottish football’s lucky ones as they returned to pre-season training this week.
United and their 11 Premiership counterparts were able to get back on the pitch for the first time in three months with the Terrors conducting some socially-distanced sessions yesterday.
Shaking off the cobwebs and getting back to it after a normal post-season break is hard enough but in coronavirus times it’s an altogether different task.
Tangerines gaffer Robbie Neilson will still want to run the rule over his charges’ fitness levels as he plots how to tackle their first season at the top table in four years.
Robbie will also be looking to see where he can strengthen in the transfer window with he and his staff working on the technical and tactical side of their game, too.
The day-to-day challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic makes doing these things all the more difficult, however.
There will be government, SFA and SPFL guidelines United will need to follow if we are to continue to move towards the planned August 1 start date for the new top-flight campaign.
Although that will be giving all at Tannadice a huge headache, just being able to get some sort of normality back to things will be a relief.
It’s a massive step for the club and the first small one in getting back to proper football.
They will have been stagnating for the past wee while and I can assure you the players will have been stirring in their houses raring to go.
Robbie, too, will be champing at the bit to get his team how he wants it.
You’d imagine small-sided matches between the squad and bounce games, when it’s safe to do, will go a long way in doing that.
Jumping up to the Premiership, they’ll need to find that competitive edge again.
It’s a big step for the club and one they’ve worked hard to achieve over the past couple of years.
They won’t want anything to scupper their chance to shine on the big stage and will be leaving no stone unturned.
I don’t think they are far away from being able to challenge for the top six with the players they have but a couple of quality additions would certainly go a long way to boosting morale.
With 4,000 season ticket holders behind them, too, things are looking up again for United.
Nobody, not least Dundee and their manager James McPake, will have wanted it to go this way.
However, starting the Championship season in October is probably the best outcome for all that we could have hoped for.
The costs for some of the smaller teams in the division of starting earlier were simply too great.
The issues and reservations were vast, perhaps not so much for the likes of Dundee and the now officially relegated Hearts, but definitely for part-time Alloa and Arbroath and newly-promoted Raith.
In terms of adhering to all the coronavirus protocols it would have been a huge challenge but McPake and Co will still be left feeling slightly frustrated.
They’ve already had three months out and now face another four before a ball is kicked in anger.
He will be keen to get his side back in training to see where they’re at, what they need to do to strengthen and plan his assault on a
shortened second season in the Dens Park hotseat.
I’ve touched on it in this column before but players, particularly in the lower reaches of Scottish football, need peace of mind right now.
Some teams, like Dundee, had extended contracts while a decision on Ann Budge’s reconstruction proposal and a date for when the lower leagues will return was made.
Now we know a 10-team Championship is set to get under way in October, squads will slowly be assembled.
It’s another small victory.
I tried watching German football but the return of the English Premier League tomorrow
night has me properly excited!
No offence but Dortmund versus Mainz just isn’t the same as Man City against Arsenal.