Athletic Announce First Preseason Friendly Against West Ham On 3 August

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Athletic will compete in the Betway Cup against West Ham (LaLiga)

It will be another month before the Athletic players report to preseason training on 4 July, but plans for next season are already underway. Qualifying for Europe will be the team’s ultimate goal and it will be up to Gaizka Garitano to put together the best possible team. While the players are vacation the club will be putting together the summer schedule and the first friendly has already been announced.

On Monday the club officially announced that Athletic will be taking part in the Betway Cup against West Ham United. The match will take place on 3 August at London Stadium in England at 4pm Bilbao time. The Betway Cup began in 2015 and has featured other clubs such as Juventus, Werder Bremen, and Mainz 05.

Athletic last faced off with West Ham in a friendly 19 years ago in August of 2000 in a testimonial game for Julian Dicks. Goals from Fran Yeste and Ismael Urzaiz saw the Lions win 2-1, but the match was overshadowed by a 17-player brawl which saw Joseba Etxeberria forced to leave the field.

Playing a friendly against West Ham two weeks before the start of the season will definitely be a good test for the Lions. The rest of the preseason should start to take shape over the coming weeks with the Basques expected to go on another trip abroad, possibly returning to Austria or Germany as in recent years. There has also been talk of visiting Asia or North America during the summer, but nothing has been confirmed.

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