Date:Thursday May 24 2012
b>Sunderland's pre-season preparations have begun to take shape with friendlies against Leicester City & Hartlepool United announced in the last 24 hours.
Warm-up games against Leicester and Hartlepool have been added to a schedule that already includes the Peace Cup and Derby County.
Sunderland will start their preparations in the Far East on July 19 with a game against Seognam before facing unnamed opposition three days later in South Korea.
The Black Cats will then start a Midlands double-header on August 8 when they face Derby County in a 19:45 kick-off at Pride Park.
Martin O'Neill's side will then head to the King Power Stadium on August 11, (kick off 15:00), to face his former employers, Leicester City.
Finally, Sunderland will face local outfit Hartlepool on July 27, with kick off at 19:30.
'Pools played host to Sunderland in pre-season last year to mark long-serving defender Ritchie Humphrey's testimonial campaign.
Boss Neale Cooper told The Sunderland Echo that he is looking forward to the game:
"We`re delighted that Martin O`Neill will be bringing his team to The Vic and we`re really looking forward to what should be a very enjoyable evening.
"I know both sets of supporters turned out in force for the fixture last year so it would be nice if that could happen again this time."
If and when more fixtures are announced, check back for details.
Date:Thursday May 24 2012
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