We’re barely into July but that means the lads are about to get back to the training ground following a little downtime on vacation for the past few weeks.
Some international-capped players might arrive later, some would do earlier, but one this is certain and that’s that we’re just less than two weeks away from watching our superheroes take on an opponent inside an actual football pitch.
Things will get rolling by mid-July and they won’t be at the highest of competitive stages, but hey, let’s keep building slowly but surely ahead of what looks to be the most important season in Newcastle’s history for the past I-don’t-even-know-how-many years!
Here’s a little summary of what is ahead and in the Magpies' schedule for the month of July when it comes to friendly games.
Sat, July 15: Gateshead vs Newcastle
Newcastle’s pre-season campaign begins with a match against local rivals Gateshead, the same as they did last season.
Gateshead, led by former Newcastle player Mike Williamson, reached FA Trophy final at Wembley but lost 1-0 to FC Halifax Town. They finished in 14th place in the National League.
Tue, July 18: Rangers vs Newcastle
Newcastle’s “first/true” pre-season game will take them to the world-renowned Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow, where they will face the Scottish fallen-giants Rangers.
This match will also serve as a testimonial for Rangers’ goalkeeper Allan McGregor, who has amassed over 500 appearances for the blue side of Glasgow.
Sun, July 23 - Newcastle v Aston Villa (in the USA)
Following the Rangers encounter, Newcastle’s players and staff travel to the United States to participate in the inaugural Premier League Summer Series, as we first reported last February.
Their first match in the six-team tournament takes place at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, home of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles. Newcastle will face the Villans at 7pm local time, which means you might be sleeping if you are watching from the British Islands (midnight UK time).
Wed, July 26: Newcastle v Chelsea (in the USA)
Newcastle’s second match in the Premier League Summer Series sees them leaving Philadelphia to clash with Chelsea in Atlanta, home of our very own legend Elijah Newsome. This encounter marks their second meeting since the end of the previous season.
The game against Chelsea will be held at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, offering a return for Miguel Almiron to his former club, Atlanta United.
Friday, July 28: Newcastle v Brighton (in the US)
Newcastle’s final match in the Premier League Summer Series takes place in New Jersey, where they will face Brighton in an East Coast affair.
The game will be held at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, the home ground of Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls—not your supremely talented and great New York Knicks, but still a major-league team.