Darlington friendly kicks off pre-season

by Kate Smith

First game for pre-season programme confirmed.

Sunderland's first team will kick-off their pre-season preparations with a special game against Darlington 1883 FC.

The Black Cats will face Darlington on Saturday 19 July, 3pm at Heritage Park, Bishop Auckland.

Sunderland AFC is lending its support to its neighbour’s return to Darlington. The County Durham club is looking to move back to the town in the coming months after playing their games at Bishop Auckland for the last two seasons. The game will help to raise vital funds to support Darlington 1883’s return home.

SAFC’s head coach Gus Poyet said: “I am absolutely delighted to be opening our pre-season schedule against Darlington.  It is a historic club, with a loyal and passionate fan base, who have sadly endured some difficult times. For us and our fans to be able to support them as they work to regain their professional league status is something that I’m very pleased about.

“I am sure our fans, as always, will turn out in numbers to give us their support but to also show solidarity to a local team that needs our help.”

Darlington 1883 manager Martin Gray added: “It is a fantastic show of support from Sunderland and a real coup for us to welcome them in what will be the opening game of their pre-season.”

With a capacity at Heritage Park of just over 2,000, tickets will be limited. Supporters are also advised that the majority of the ground is standing, with only a very limited number of seats available.

Adults will be priced £12 and under 16s and over 60s just £6, with ticket purchase information to be announced in due course.

Further details and announcements regarding pre-season plans will be confirmed on www.safc.com .


Date Opponent Venue KO Details
Saturday 19 July 
 Darlington 1883 FC
(A) Heritage Park
 3pm  TBC
Tuesday 22 July
Carlisle United
Brunton Park

7.30pm TBC
Wednesday 23 July
Hartlepool United
Victoria Park

7.30pm TBC