Opposition confirmed for first Austria friendly

Blues will play 1. FC Union Berlin in their first pre-season friendly.

The game against 1. FC Union Berlin will take place on Tuesday 11 July, kick-off 6pm local time (5pm GMT).


Blues are to open their 2017/18 pre-season campaign with a friendly against German side 1. FC Union Berlin.

The match will be the first of two games played during the Club’s week-long training camp in Austria.

Wolfsberger AC host the fixture at their Lavanttal-Arena ground, based in the Austrian town of Wolfsberg, on Tuesday 11 July, kick-off 6pm local time (5pm GMT).

Union Berlin last season came fourth in the 2. Bundesliga – the second tier of German football – their best finish since the 1990 unification when clubs from the East merged into the West German football system.

Union are something of a cult club in Germany, owned 50 per cent by the fans who have shown remarkable commitment to the cause.

In 2004, they saved their club from financial ruin by giving blood en masse and donating the money they received to help pay off massive debts.

And, four years later, when the club’s ground was in urgent need of renovation, almost 2,400 volunteers, many of whom had no construction experience, worked for an extraordinary 140,000 hours without being paid to rebuild the ground in 300 days.

On the pitch, Union have steadily improved in recent seasons and finished just one place below the 2. Bundesliga play-off positions in 2016/17 under the leadership of manager Jens Keller. 

Blues have a second warm-up game in Austria already confirmed against Israeli Premier League side Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona on the following Saturday (15 July) at the SV Stegersbach Stadium.

Harry Redknapp’s charges then return to these shores to continue their pre-season schedule with matches against Oxford United, Kidderminster Harriers and Swansea City.

Admission details for both the tour games in Austria will be announced in due course.