Whilst Rafa will have the first team down in Lancashire for a stretch of the legs against Championship club Preston North End, there will be some local action on Tyneside involving Newcastle United.

As is now traditional in pre-season, a United team will cross the Tyne for the short trip to the Gateshead International Stadium for a friendly with our nearest and dearest football club. Our fellow Geordies could really do with a good turn out for financial reasons but it does Tyneside in general very well to have a club represented it at the level of the National League. Why not support it?

So, if you aren’t down at Deepdale but fancy and afternoon watching two Geordie teams going through their paces, the International Stadium would be a canny destination of a Saturday afternoon.