A captivating World Cup finals is now just a recent memory for Newcastle United fans.

Only 24 hours until Newcastle play their first pre-season friendly and we are once again really engaged with the madness that is NUFC.

Events in Russia have been the perfect tonic to an underwhelming transfer window so far.

Newcastle United still trading at a profit on transfers this summer and the team and squad slightly weaker than what we had at the end of last season.

It is St Patrick’s Athletic who ease Newcastle back into action, the kickabout against the Dublin-based club coming at the end of the week-long training camp in County Kildare.

Whilst there are still 24 days until transfer deadline, it is worth pointing out that the five pre-season friendlies come thick and fast now.

If Rafa Benitez is to bring in those key major signings, especially up front, he will surely want them playing a significant part in pre-season.

The clock is ticking on so many areas, best of luck to Rafa as he attempts to perform more minor miracles.

Important dates this summer:

Thursday 17 May 2018

Premier League summer transfer window opened.

Friday 1 June 2018

Summer transfer window opened in Germany, France, Italy, and Spain.

Thursday 14 June 2018

Premier League fixtures released at 9am.

Friday 6 July 2018

Premier League Live TV matches for August and September revealed – first four Newcastle games amongst those selected.

Wednesday 11 July 2018

Newcastle United squad fly off for pre-season training camp in Ireland.

Sunday 15 July 2018

World Cup final takes place, France beat Croatia 4-2.

Tuesday 17 July 2018

Friendly: St Patrick’s Athletic v Newcastle United – 7.45pm kick-off

Tuesday 24 July 2018

Friendly: Hull City v Newcastle United – 7.45pm kick-off

Saturday 28 July 2018

Friendly: Porto v Newcastle United – 7.30pm Kick-off

Wednesday 1 August

Friendly: Braga v Newcastle United – 7.30pm kick-off

Saturday 4 August 2018

Friendly: Newcastle United v Augsburg – 3pm kick-off

Tuesday 7 August 2018

This is the scheduled date when Premier League should reveal live TV games for October and November.

Thursday 9 August 2018

Premier League summer transfer window closes at 5pm.

Saturday 11 August 2018

Newcastle v Tottenham – 12.30pm (live on Sky Sports)

Saturday 18 August 2018

Cardiff v Newcastle – 12.30pm (live on Sky Sports)

Sunday 26 August 2018

Newcastle v Chelsea – 4pm (live on Sky Sports)

Week beginning Monday 27 August 2018

Newcastle will play in second round of League Cup – date and opposition TBC

Friday 31 August 2018

Summer transfer window closes in Germany, Spain, Italy, and France (so after 9 August, Premier League clubs can’t buy any players but those in other European countries, and elsewhere, could still buy Premier League players until their windows close).

Saturday 1 September 2018

Man City v Newcastle 4pm (live on BT Sport)

Saturday 15 September 2018

Newcastle v Arsenal – 3pm

Saturday 22 September 2018

Crystal Palace v Newcastle 3pm 

Saturday 29 September 2018

Newcastle v Leicester – 3pm

Sunday 12 May 2019

Final Premier League matches (all 10 games kick-off at same time).

Jackie Smithfield