Sunderland fly out to Seoul this morning with Martin O'Neill confirming his 23-man squad for the Peace Cup to be played on Thursday and Sunday of this week.
We speculated yesterday on what the squad would be after some key names miss out through injury, or rested due to international commitments at the end of the season, and seems were only one short as young goalkeeper Ben Wilson also makes the trip to back up Simon Mignolet and Jordan Pickford.
Goalkeepers: Simon Mignolet, Jordan Pickford, Ben Wilson
Defenders: Carlos Cuellar, Wes Brown, Michael Turner, Kieran Richardson, Titus Bramble, Blair Adams, Louis Laing, John Egan
Midfielders: Jack Colback, Lee Cattermole, Craig Gardner, David Meyler, David Vaughan, Billy Knott, Adam Reed, Roarie Deacon
Strikers: Fraizer Campbell, Connor Wickham, Ryan Noble, Craig Lynch
While the squad looks incredibly weakened and young, we are without nine regular first team players, so it was to be expected. Not only that but these games are really about fitness and little else. If Stephane Sessegnon, Seb Larsson etc start blowing out their arses come the end of the season because they made the trip, we'd all look back on the Peace Cup as a bit of a disaster. It's sensible from O'Neill.
The manager has however stressed that it's the available first team players who'll get priority when it comes to playing, telling the Sunday Sun this weekend;
We're heading off to Korea and we'll take a few of the young lads, which will give us the opportunity to look at them. Even if they don't actually play in the games, because the matches are still important to us and the senior players will take priority, at least they're training with us. A few of those lads who were out on loan last season, it would be nice to see what improvements they have made.
Looking between the lines it seems as though the likes of Craig Lynch, Ben Wilson and some of the youngsters who didn't manage to make it out on loan could be just there for the experience. Whoever plays though, it's a great opportunity for youngsters and fringe players to make themselves indispensable.