Keith Bertschin's reserve side, or development side, or whatever it is we're calling it nowadays, has announced a number of friendlies as they prepare for the 2012/13 Premier Reserve League North.
The preseason will kick off for them while the first team are in Korea for the Peace Cup, with a game against Whitby Town, managed by former Sunderland defender, Darren Williams. The game at The Turnbull Ground is on July 18th, with a 7pm kick off.
Just two days later they make the short hop to Newton Aycliffe to take on Allan Olivers side with a 7:30pm kick off.
On July 25th they travel to Spennymoor Town for a game against a side also with Sunderland connections. up until last week Brian Atkinson was the assistant there before taking a similar role with Darlington. The Spennymoor game kicks off at 7:30pm also.
The final date announced is August the 3rd, where they'll travel to the International Stadium to take on Gateshead. The Heed should have a new look about them after losing the services of top striker Jon Shaw this summer, but still represent a tough test for what is likely to be a very youthful reserve side next season.