IT has been a long summer in the absence of a major international football competition but the relative quiet is at an end – on the domestic front at least.
Scottish football has already started back with the League Cup first round taking place across the next fortnight, the pick of the ties surely being the Dundee derby on July 30.
July is, almost without exception, a painful month for Scottish sides in Europe (unless they are based in Glasgow’s east end), as most of the clubs who qualified last season could well be felled by the continent’s minnows.
Before league action takes precedence, the next fortnight is dominated by glorified pre-season friendlies in the guise of the International Champions Cup. Most of Europe’s elite will be taking part in the tournament, which is held in the USA, meaning many fixtures will be on too late for most bars.
However, a re-run of the 2012 Champions League final in a Chelsea and Bayern Munich lunchtime clash on July 25 should be one to savour.
For those seeking a tennis fix after Wimbledon’s conclusion, the Bucharest Open takes place this weekend (July 21-23).
Staying in south east Europe, Formula 1 action moves to Hungary (July 28-30) with Lewis Hamilton expected to make history again by polling first for the sixth time on the Hungaroring track.
• Celtic back in league action on August 5.