North End captain Tom Clarke can't wait to get back to work ahead of the new season.
"It's been a long break really, it's been the longest I've had for a while due to being in the Play-Offs nearly every season. It's been a long break but it's been needed to recharge the batteries and it's exciting to go back and get the fitness in.
"Pre-season is always difficult but it needs to be done and I'm just looking forward to seeing all the lads again and getting back in that changing room with all the banter and getting started on what's going to be a great season."
With the release of the fixtures on Wednesday morning, Clarke admits the start of the season feels closer now the players now the 2016/17 schedule.
"It hits home now that the season's not far away and there's some exciting games to come, especially against the teams that have come down from the Premier League and I just can't wait to get going now.
"Personally, I look for the Huddersfield games first because it's obviously the club I used to be at. Then you look at the big games against the teams who have come down against Newcastle, Aston Villa etc. There's some exciting games in there and I can't wait!
"This is why we want to be in this league, we want to face the best teams and that's what we are going to be doing.
"We will be playing some big teams out there and the lads I spoke to as soon as they came out just can't wait to get going against these big teams and some big crowds home and away.
"We did really well in the derby games away last season as well, and we will be looking to do that again this year. There are some big games and the derbies are always great for the fans too."
North End kick off their second season in the Championship against Reading on Saturday 6th August, and the 28-year-old admits this season will be tougher than the first with other teams now more aware of the squad's capabilities.
"Going into last season we were a bit of an unknown really, we knew we had a good squad and a good team but going into the season was an unknown but we were over the moon to finish in the top half and do as well as we did.
"This season we just want to kick on, teams will know a lot more about us so it's going to be more difficult but we are still going into it very confident.
"The manager is bringing in players and will improve the squad and that can only bode well for us for the new season.
"We didn't get off to the best start last year and there were team meetings where we were talking through games about which direction to go and we stuck together, trained hard and the wins started to come and the confidence started to grow.
"If someone had said we would finish in the top half come the end of the season we would have bitten their hand off. To do what we did and to be very close to the Play-Offs at times was a great achievement for us.
"It's going to be difficult this season, teams know what we are about, but we are going to have to improve and it's going to be exciting.
"With how well we did last year people are going to take note and try and do a job on us. It will be tough but that's why the gaffer will be bringing in new players, improving the squad, and hopefully we can start better than we did last season to kick on."
You can view the full fixture list by clicking here.
Alternatively you can download an A4 poster of the fixtures here.