The waiting is nearly over - Burton Albion return to Championship action on Saturday.
Cardiff City - managed by ex-Brewers boss Neil Warnock - are Albion's first opponents of 2017/18, arriving at the Pirelli Stadium after finishing 12th last term.
The Bluebirds’ last outing at the Pirelli saw Paul Trollope's reign as boss come to an end following a 2-0 victory for the Brewers - but Cardiff are likely to be a different proposition this time around.
We spoke to WalesOnline's Dominic Booth to find out about the Bluebirds' pre-season business and their hopes for the campaign ahead.
WARNOCK MAKING THE MOST OF SUMMER WINDOW
Warnock was named Cardiff City boss on October 5 2016 and proceeded to guide the South Wales club clear of the Championship drop zone and towards the tranquility of mid-table safety.
Now, with a first pre-season under his belt at the Cardiff City Stadium and a couple of transfer windows in the bag, the ex-Burton manager is crafting a Bluebirds side of his own making.
Warnock has brought in no fewer than seven summer signings as Cardiff look to begin the upcoming season in much more successful style than last term, when they secured only eight points from their first 11 outings.
And Booth believes the mood around the club suggests that a more positive start is on the cards this time around.
"It was always going to be a crucial summer, because Neil Warnock didn't have a pre-season last year," said the WalesOnline writer.
"He made a few signings last season when he first came in with free transfers, but now he's brought in seven new faces for the season ahead.
"They have signed goalkeepers Neil Etheridge and Lee Camp, Callum Paterson - who is currently injured - Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, Lee Tomlin from Bristol City, Danny Ward in from his former side Rotherham United - like Camp - and Loic Damour came in from France's Ligue 2.
"Everyone seems really confident.
"There's certainly a different mood compared to this time last year and last time they were at the Pirelli Stadium.
"That game was Paul Trollope's last game in charge at Cardiff.
"Kenneth Zohore has been in the goals again, so expect him to carry on from the second half of last season.
"Neil Warnock is trying to get his side to play football that he is not always associated with as well."
PROMOTION HOPES IN SOUTH WALES?
The Bluebirds finished 18 points off the play-offs last season.
Given that they were 14 points off the top six at the halfway stage, though, that is not bad going - and they are hoping to build on that in 2017/18.
Back in April, Warnock said that reaching the play-offs this term would be a "massive achievement" for his side with the budget they would spend.
Talking about reaching the play-offs at all, though, suggests that ambition at the Cardiff City Stadium.
So is that a genuinely-held ambition?
"I don't think it's unrealistic, based on Neil Warnock's achievements in the past," added Booth.
"The defence is going to make them hard to beat - they've got some strong centre-backs.
"I don't think they'll be challenging for a top-two finish, but they can definitely get a top-half finish and make a push for the play-offs."
The goals of Kenneth Zohore - he scored all 12 of his goals for Cardiff last season after Christmas - played a key role in Cardiff's solid form for the second half of the campaign in 2016/17.
Booth knows the importance of that continuing again this term - but he believes there is another player who could be just as crucial to the Bluebirds' efforts.
"Aron Gunnarson makes the team tick in midfield and provides the steel that embodies a Neil Warnock side," he said.
"He has improved immeasurably and he will probably start every game if possible."
Lee Camp was last in Championship action for Rotherham United in November, and one of Cardiff's new keepers has not featured in pre-season because of that injury.
Scotland defender Callum Paterson is also unlikely to feature on Saturday due to injury.