First friendly confirmed as Sunderland's pre-season begins to take shape

Sunderland will face Darlington away in pre-season, it has been confirmed.

Wednesday, 6th June 2018, 9:20 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th June 2018, 9:22 am

New Sunderland boss Jack Ross will take his squad to Blackwell Meadows to face Darlington on Wednesday, July 11 (KO 7.30pm).

The sides last played each other in 2015 at Heritage Park. Darlington have announced the friendly fixture and say Sunderland "will be sending their first team."

Jack Ross.

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The Sunderland squad returns to training in less than three weeks and the rest of the pre-season friendly schedule is close to being finalised.

The players return to the Academy of Light on June 22 to start the gruelling summer work ahead of the League One campaign.

Sunderland have scheduled in a week’s training in Portugal at the start of July and the club is trying to organise a friendly while they are over there.

There will then be a series of friendlies before the League One campaign kicks off in the first weekend of August.

Stewart Donald said: "I think the pre-season schedule is three or four calls away from being confirmed so we will get that out as soon as we can because I understand that fans will want to book things."