Pre-season begins…By: Jack | July 19th, 2011
It’s that time of the year again, the players have returned from their holidays and started training in preparation for a new season and, with a new president and manager, a new era.
The first friendly takes place tomorrow, against Valencian Tercera side UD Alzira. It gives Marcelo Bielsa a first chance to see the players in match action and experiment with tactics.
Then the team travel to England, where they’ll play in the Markus Liebherr Memorial Cup in Southampton’s St. Mary’s stadium on Saturday. This will consist of two 45 minute matches, one against Southampton and the other against Werder Bremen. If either match ends in a draw there will be a penalty shootout.
The only other confirmed friendly so far is another game in England, this time at White Hart Lane on Saturday 6th August. Friendlies against Numancia (late July), Juventus (mid August) and a French side have also been rumoured.
Tickets for Southampton can be bought on the day (up until 4pm) and tickets for Tottenham can be bought via their official site. For the Tottenham game try to get in (or close to) Block 11 in the West stand. Also, if you are going to either game, wear a bowler hat if you can!
The league fixtures have also been announced and Athletic will be starting the campaign at the Bernabeu. Some may be daunted at facing one of the top teams on the first day, but I personally feel it is the best time to be playing them.
The first visitors to San Mamés will be newly promoted Rayo Vallecano, the last game of the season will be away to Levante and the home derby will be on the first weekend of March. The full fixture list can be seen here.
Friendlies in full:
Alzira – Athletic : Tuesday 20th July 20:00 (local time)
Werder Bremen – Athletic (half-match) : Saturday 23rd July 17:30 (local time)
Southampton – Athletic (half-match) : Saturday 23rd July 19:00 (local time)
Tottenham – Athletic : Saturday 6th August 17:15 (local time)