With the World Cup over it’s back to domestic fare for Scots football fans.
With our continued international absence fans continue to concentrate energies on club football, and with great season ticket sales at some of our clubs there’s huge interest in the season ahead.
Celtic, Hibernian, and Rangers all won their opening European ties, auguring well for restoring some of our prestige in that arena.
The Betfred Cup is where local fans get the early opportunity to assess their team’s potential this season, with the three full time sides in Tayside all at long odds to win it.
I watched St Johnstone last Saturday where Tony Watt, the former Celtic prodigy best remembered for a fine goal in their 2-1 win against Barcelona in 2012, told me after the game he’s aiming to hit double figures this season.
Along with some young emerging talent, Saints will hope to recapture previous season’s glories with regular top half finishes in the Premiership.
Manager Tommy Wright will need to persuade his chairman to dip into the coffers to add quality in a couple of key areas for that to happen, though.
I’ll get my first look at Dundee on Sunday when they meet Championship side Dunfermline, but a 4-0 win for Neil McCann’s team on the opening day is a good indicator of the killer touch he wants his side to possess.
Winning is habit forming and winning handsomely is better than winning narrowly.
Dundee United’s start in the cup hasn’t been auspicious.
I saw them lose at Dingwall on Tuesday and many United fans are unconvinced that Csaba Laszlo is the man to lead them to the Premiership.
He is, though, building almost a new team and with the ownership situation now resolved in the boardroom, a calmer and less febrile atmosphere might surround the club.
A return to the Premiership for United is vital given their finances, but with tough competition from my two favourites for the title, Ross County and Inverness, along with serious tests from Partick Thistle, Dunfermline and others, that may be a bridge too far.
The early cup action aside, it’s impossible to see past Celtic’s continuing dominance of the top league and their irresistible drive towards a 10 in a row feat.
Aberdeen, Hibs, Hearts and Kilmarnock all seem set to cement their positions as top six outfits, while huge attention is focused on Ibrox and whether Steven Gerrard’s first foray into management meets with triumph or disaster.
Rangers are miles adrift of Celtic financially and are likely to be so for years to come. Meantime Aberdeen, who beat them to second spot in the league last season, seem set to be even stronger, and are buoyed as a club by their forthcoming move to a new stadium. And Hibs, who under Neil Lennon have a harder mentality than previously, may this time close the three-point gap which saw them finish fourth behind Rangers.
Some argue that our football lacks the quality of the best leagues but it never fails to offer hope and promise in abundance ahead of every new season.