Less than 24 hours before our Championship Play-Off final against Norwich City, Simon Grayson's Preston were in the same Wembley dressing room celebrating their own Play-Off final success and a return to the second tier.
Bolton are the first visitors to the Riverside on Saturday August 15 before rivalries are renewed at Derby County, the following Tuesday, for our first midweek Championship fixture of the season. Last season saw a terrific 1-0 win at the iPro Stadium on an evening, and the re-match is a mouth watering early season clash.
August ends with a visit from League One Champions Bristol City (Sat Aug 22) and a trip to Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday August 29.
The first international break of the season resumes with MK Dons' first ever visit to the Riverside on Saturday September 12, and the same month sees a trip to Nottingham Forest and a visit from a Leeds United side, who completed the double over Karanka's side last season.
October includes our second midweek trip to Cardiff in as many years - Kike settled matters in South Wales last season - while November throws up our first meetings with the clubs who have come down from the Premier League, and we travel to Hull City (Sat 7) and play host to QPR (Sat 21).
December stands out as a gruelling month and a trip to Ipswich on the 5th is followed by back-to-back home games against Birmingham and Burnley, back-to-back away away games at Brighton and Blackburn (Boxing Day), and festive fixtures against Sheffield Wednesday on the 28th and Derby on Jan 2.
The New Year hands us a midweek trip to Brentford and a January afternoon at Bristol City while MK Dons await on Saturday January 30 for our first ever trip there.
February features a trip to Leeds United, but also includes three home games, with Blackburn, Reading, and Cardiff all due to visit the Riverside.
Easter comes early next year - in March - but there are no games due to international football, and with the finishing line in sight, April throws up seven potentially decisive fixtures, including a trip to QPR and back-to-back away games at Bolton and Burnley.
Rather like 2015, our league season comes to a close with a 12.30pm kick-off against Brighton at the Riverside.