Pre-season friendly confirmed...
Sunderland have confirmed that they will play Carlisle United at Brunton Park as part of their pre-season schedule for the 2006/07 campaign.
The match will take place on Saturday 29th July, just a week before the start of the new season.
As doubts arise over the problems the protracted takeover process may cause to Sunderland's pre season preparations chief executive Peter Walker confirmed,
'We are continuing to work hard behind the scenes to ensure that all the necessary preparations are in place for pre-season, and this match is just a few we're looking at as our build-up to the start of the new season.'
The match will see the return of a former Brunton Park crowd favourite, now a Republic of Ireland international at Sunderland, Rory Delap. Michael Bridges will also face his former side as he looks to continue his sparkling form in a Carlisle shirt in a division higher next season.
Carlisle fans were promised a big name for the first match on a new £250,000 pitch, and they have delivered with a local derby,
'The contracts from Sunderland are now in place and it is going ahead,' Carlisle`s managing director, John Nixon, told The Cumberland News.
'It will be a real celebration with us christening the new pitch and it is really one to look forward to.'
Carlisle manager Paul Simpson, ironically a name linked with the vacant manager's position on Wearside, also expressed his delight at finally confirming the game,
'This is a great game for us, I`m delighted we have got it sorted and it will be a good way to complete a full pre-season programme.' Simpson told The Cumberland News.
'It will be a good test for our team and a good occasion for our supporters. It is a local derby and we would expect Sunderland to bring a fair few supporters themselves.
'It is one for us all to look forward to, especially with it being the first game on the new pitch.'
Ticket prices: £12 (adults seats), £10 (adults standing); £5 (11-16s and pensioners, standing or sitting) and £2 (under 11s, standing or sitting).
The game is a 3pm kick off.