After a very so-so trip to the Far East last summer for the Peace Cup, Sunderland are headed back in that direction this summer for the slightly more 'prestigious' -- if indeed any pre-season tournament carries prestige -- Barclays Asia Trophy.
The games will be played on Wednesday 24th July and Saturday 27th July in Hong Kong, and the competition is a step up in class from last years outing, as this year we will be up against fellow Premier League sides Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, plus local team South China FC.
Martin O'Neill gave it his very best shot at being excited about the announcement by adding in the press release;
We are absolutely thrilled to be be participating in the 2013 Barclays Asia Trophy, once again taking place in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong's reputation as a brilliant venue is also growing tall and we are all looking forward to competing against such very strong opposition on our Barclays Asia Trophy debut.
It seems an awfully long way to go to get beat off Spurs, as you'd have to imagine with South China FC hosting and having the pick of the games, they'd put themselves against the more illustrious Manchester City.
Hopefully this trip proves more successful than last years Far East trip which saw David Vaughan and Wes Brown injure themselves and stay out of action for a considerable length of time.
The plus side for fans is that there's an outside chance this will be on TV. Now TV, a subsidiary of Sky, are also one of the major sponsors of the tournament. So you might not have to fork out an arm and leg on flights.