The Championship fixtures are announced on Monday morning (June 18) and there’s a real northern feel to our division in 2012-13 and that’s great for the fans.
We play Huddersfield and Sheffield Wednesday, plus Barnsley and Bolton and Blackburn as well – so there are plenty of matches which will generate big crowds.
And there’s the game against Wolves, who will bring good travelling support from the Midlands.
We’ve certainly not got many of the long journeys we had last season with Portsmouth, Reading, Southampton and West Ham not in the division next year. And I think the travelling support will be much better at Elland Road next season, as there’s not so many southern teams. They often only bring a few hundred supporters which doesn’t generate much atmosphere in the stadium.
More local games will spice up the season, while our fans who travel away won’t have to spend as much money maybe. And in hard financial times, like we currently are, that’s better for everybody.
In terms of the lower divisions, personally I’m actually in favour of north-south regionalised divisions, like there used to be in the olden days.
We’ll see who we get in the fixtures on Monday but the main thing, whoever we get, is that we have a good start and that we’re up there from day one.
I’m sure, like everyone else, Saturdays aren’t the same without football and yesterday’s league cup draw was the first sign that the new season, while not exactly on the horizon, can now be talked about.
That said, it’s the longest break I can remember with the early finish to last season and late start to the new one.
It’s quiet everywhere at the minute and with Euro 2012 taking precedence it’s usually the end of the month before transfers really start to take place. A lot of clubs will have a lot of irons in the fire which they will not be disclosing as contracts of players aren’t up.
Looking at the newly-named Capital One Cup draw, we’ve got Shrewsbury at home and I remember playing at their ground in the early eighties when there used to be a guy waiting in a boat in the river if the ball went over the stand.
There was no money around then either and they couldn’t afford to lose the balls. But, all in all, it’s a nice start for us, being at home.