Athletic’s preseason schedule has really taken shape over the last few weeks. It was recently announced that the team would be spending eight days training in the mountains of Switzerland and playing in three friendly matches while there. However, Cuco Ziganda and company are still looking for ways to prepare the players for the beginning of the season and have now added yet another friendly to the calendar.
On Tuesday Athletic officially announced that they would be playing a preseason match against Real Valladolid on 22 July. The match will take place at Las Llanas in Sestao, which is part of Bizkaia in the Basque country.
This friendly now brings Athletic’s total to six games this summer. While in Switzerland the Lions will face FC Basel, FC Sion, and Fenerbahce. There will also be games against Club Brugge and Liverpool. There is no indication whether or not the Basques are looking to add anymore preseason games or not at this point, but it is very clear that Ziganda is taking preparations very seriously in his first season in charge of the first team.
Real Valladolid is a club that has strong ties with Athletic Club. The Segunda outfit is always looking to challenge for promotion back to the Primer and Athletic has been willing to send players there on loan. In the last few years both Kepa Arrizabalaga and Markel Etxeberria have spent time at Real Valladolid and have stated that they grew a lot because of the loan move. There is also a chance that other young players could be sent to Valladolid on loan this summer, but that remains to be seen.