Pre-season: Black Cats head to Gigg Lane

Sunderland will take on Bury at Gigg Lane on Friday 7 July (KO 7.30pm) in their opening pre-season fixture.

The Black Cats will return to training on 29 June for initial fitness testing before the first team and the under-23s travel to Austria for a five-day training camp.

Speaking to, Martin Bain explained that preparations for the new season are well underway.

“Preparations for the new season are progressing well and our full plans for pre-season are close to being finalised.

“The first team and the under 23s will spend a week together in Austria, which signals a much more joined up approach to the pre-season preparations.”

He added: "It is something that the club hasn’t done previously, so it will give the young players a great opportunity to train alongside their senior counterparts and experience the intensity required at first-team level."

And the chief executive also moved to assure supporters that the club is working hard behind the scenes to secure the services of a new manager.

“The recruitment process is ongoing.

“Pre-season is an important period at any football club so naturally we are keen to conclude things as quickly as possible, whilst being mindful of the need to make the right appointment."

A further series of domestic friendly games are set to be confirmed in the coming days, including a showpiece game at the Stadium of Light to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

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