Sunderland AFC today confirmed that the Club will take on UEFA Cup semi-finalists AZ Alkmaar in their final warm-up game of their pre-season programme this summer.
Mick McCarthy’s men will play the top side, who finished third in the Dutch Eredivisie last season, at their 8,500-seater Alkmaarder Hout Stadium on Saturday 6th August (kick-off 8pm local time) – just six days before their big Premiership kick-off on Saturday 13th August.
Black Cats boss Mick McCarthy said: “Alkmaar have some real quality in their squad, having seen them reach the UEFA Cup semi-finals last season, and they’ll provide us with a very strong test in our final build-up match for the Premiership campaign. It rounds off an extremely demanding pre-season training and friendly programme and I’m delighted they have agreed to this fixture.”
Alkmaar beat Rangers, Shakhtar Donetsk and Villarreal, amongst others, on their way to the semi-finals of last season’s UEFA Cup, but were dramatically beaten by Sporting Lisbon on away goals. They also qualified for next season’s UEFA Cup after their third-place finish in the Dutch top flight last season.
The Club has received an allocation of just over 400 tickets for the fixture, priced at £7.00 with no concessions and season ticket holders will be given priority on purchases. The loyalty system will be in strict operation for this match due to the limited number of tickets available.
Season ticket holders have until Friday 22nd July 2005, 5:30pm to apply. As season ticket books will not be dispatched until week commencing 18th July 2005, season ticket holders are requested to apply in writing, clearly stating their membership number and enclosing payment. Please note, those supporters wishing to be seated together must apply in one application with one payment.
In the event of a general sale, this will commence from 10.00am Monday 25th July 2005 – subject to availability.
The Dutch authorities have advised Sunderland AFC that this is an all ticket match and fans should not travel without a valid match ticket.