Sunderland confirm pre-season opener as CEO Martin Bain discusses preparations for the upcoming campaign

Sunderland confirm pre-season opener as CEO Martin Bain discusses preparations for the upcoming campaign

The Black Cats have outlined some of their preparations ahead of their upcoming season in the Championship.

Jack McGraghan

Sunderland have confirmed that their first game of pre-season will take place at Gigg Lane on July 7, where they will face League One side Bury.

Bury confirmed as Wearsiders' first pre-season opponent

The Shakers, who are managed by former Black Cats midfielder Lee Clark, will host the fixture which is scheduled to kick-off at 7:30PM.

Sunderland players are set to return to training on June 29 before heading off to Austria for a five day training camp, one which CEO Martin Bain says 'signals a much more joined up approach to the pre-season preparations.'

"The first team and the under 23s will spend a week together in Austria", Bain told the club's official website, adding that the training camp affords the youngsters a "great opportunity" to train with the first-team squad as well as to "experience the intensity required at first-team level."

Bain went on to say that preparations for the upcoming season are "progressing well" and added that "full plans for pre-season are close to being finalised."

Bury manager Lee Clark enjoyed a successful two year spell with the Black Cats from 1997-99.

CEO knows managerial role must be filled sooner rather than later

Sunderland head into the new season facing an uncertain future in the wake of David Moyes' resignation alongside several players looking to leave the club following relegation from the Premier League.

Bain stressed that he realises the importance of hiring a replacement "as quickly as possible" but also remains mindful of "the need to make the right appointment."

Sunderland are also planning to hold a pre-season fixture at the Stadium of Light in celebration of its 20th anniversary, with the match due to be the first pre-season game held at the ground since the visit of Ajax in 2008.

Past pre-season friendlies held on Wearside include the visit of Juventus to celebrate the Stadium of Light's tenth anniversary on August 6 2007, when a Cristian Molinaro goal cancelled out Daryl Murphy's opener to see the game end as a draw.