HANOVER GERMANY - JANUARY 22: Emanuel Pogatetz of Hannover and Raul of Schalke compete for the ball during the Bundesliga match between Hannover 96 and FC Schalke 04 at AWD Arena on January 22 2011 in Hanover Germany. (Photo by Joern Pollex/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Details of Sunderland's pre-season are starting to come to light, with a friendly against Hannover 96 confirmed on the German clubs official website.
The game will take place on July 20th, kicking off at 7pm local time.
This game however will not be played at Hannover's 49,000 capactiy stadium, but in nearby Hameln, at the Weserberglandstadion, home of FC Preussen Hameln 07 - a local youth side.
Hannover should provide us with a stern test having finished fourth in the Bundesliga this season, and securing Europa League football for the next season.
The Lower Saxony side also have in their ranks (at time of writing) several familiar names including Mikael Forssell, once of Chelsea and Birmingham City. Emanuel Pogatetz, formerly of Middlesborough as well as USA Internationals Steve Cherundolo and DaMarcus Beasley.
The game will be held in Hameln as said above, and the Weserberglandstadion is really more of an athletics stadium, with a capactiy of around 14,000 and was the training base for the French National Team during the 2006 World Cup, so we can be assured the facilities are top notch. Hell, even Michael Jackson played there once it would appear!
So, theres the first one down, and we can certainly expect to hear more games announced soon. However, if following the lads around Europe pre-season is your bag, you can start looking at flights to Germany. You can go direct from Ponteland to Hannover, how convenient.
Ha'way Die Jungen! (I think)