WHITBY Town are to take on Premier League Sunderland in the pick of their pre-season friendlies announced this week.
The Black Cats, who enjoyed a resurgence in league form when Martin O’Neill took over last season, will arrive at the Turnbull on Wednesday 18 July.
Whitby will also entertain east coast rivals Scarborough Athletic and Championship side Middlesbrough in one of the most exciting pre-season programmes for years.
Boss Darren Williams, a former Black Cats player, was instrumental in helping to bring his old side to Whitby and said he was keen for Whitby to play footballing sides rather than ones “that kick seven bells out of you.”
He is expecting Sunderland to bring a reserve side with players on the fringes of the Premier League and is expecting supporters of the Black Cats to swell the gate by enjoying an evening out on the Yorkshire coast.
He said: “It gives you that incentive to go out and do well and put yourself up against players who will possibly be appearing the Premier League next season.
“We will work hard, make sure we match them as best we can and make a good account of ourselves.
“It’s not about the results, it’s about us playing well and playing the style of football we want to play next season.
“We want to see the lads perform against better quality opposition.”
Williams said the prestigious fixtures were bound to attract good crowds as well as some early season revenue for the club.
News of the fixtures was welcomed by fans on the Whitby Town website.
“Couldn’t ask for a better line-up, well done whoever organised these,” said Loftus Blue.
Oxford Blues said: “That is what a pre-season should be for each and every non-league club.
“It has been ages since the big boys turned up to lend support to the smaller team.”
Fezza added: “Great news these games – hopefully get a good turnout and some much-needed cash built up for the start of the season and bad weather playing its part.
“Will also be a good test of how much the boys have improved.”
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