Early starts and early rises, that is what is facing the fans heading to Ibrox to welcome in the 2011/12 season. First of all, there is the business of unfurling the league flag which symbolises Rangers winning the title back in May but as soon as the pomp and ceremony of that dies down, the action begins in earnest.
It really is all eyes on Ally McCoist to see how he makes the step up from assistant manager to being his own man. It appears that with the suit, a vow to watch a lot of the game from the stands and in some of the players he has been after, Ally will take a lot from Walter but then again, is that any surprise?
Having worked under and alongside Smith for so long, it makes sense to use this as a template and with the players McCoist has at his disposal, it makes sense to keep following the route that has made them so successful.
The new man does have new men at his disposal though and the travelling Jambos may see a familiar face lining up against. Lee Wallace may have cost a lot more than Rangers initially bid for him but he has the potential to be a good player for Rangers for many years. Injuries dogged Wallace in the past year but he will be keen to get off to a winning start and to ensure he is in good condition for the Champions League qualifier on Tuesday against Malmo.
Rangers will be pretty much as they were from last season and it will be interesting to see if there are any tactical alterations or differences under McCoist.
Hearts fans have seen a number of new faces come to the club and they appear to be all set for a new campaign. The only problem is, with the exception of John Sutton, who has the potential to be a great signing, the rest are pretty run of the mill SPL signings. Perhaps Mehdi Taouil will take a step on but he was a player who very much flattered to deceive at Kilmarnock. Having one reasonably good game in five or a sparking five minutes out of 90 may be enough to have some fans cheering your name but the Hearts fans will be expecting more from the player who has featured for the Moroccan national team.
It will be interesting to see what Jambos team Vladimir Romanov selects after the controversy of his meddling in the selection during Heart’s last trip to Glasgow. You would have to hope that Jim Jefferies will get full control of his team this time around.
It hardly seems like a break at all but both teams will be looking to grab the points that will have them off and running.