'Elite' - Newcastle United chief reacts as invite accepted after Chelsea & Man City visit

A general view inside the Saitama Stadium. (Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)A general view inside the Saitama Stadium. (Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)
A general view inside the Saitama Stadium. (Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)
Newcastle United are travelling to Japan this summer to take part in two pre-season friendiles.

Newcastle United will travel to Japan as part of their preparations for the 2024-25 Premier League season after being invited to take part in the J-League International Series.

As part of the event, the Magpies will arrive in Tokyo on Sunday, July 28 before taking on 2022 AFC Champions League winners Urawa Red Diamonds at the 63,700-capacity Saitama Stadium on Wednesday, July 31 at 7:30pm local time.

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Eddie Howe's side will then face last season's J-League runners-up Yokohama F. Marinos - managed by former Leeds United and Liverpool midfielder Harry Kewell - at the Japan National Stadium on Saturday, August 3. Kick-off is at 7pm.

A general view inside the Saitama Stadium. (Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)A general view inside the Saitama Stadium. (Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)
A general view inside the Saitama Stadium. (Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)

The J-League has attracted a number of European clubs in recent years with the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla previously participating.

Last year, Paris Saint-Germain, Inter Milan and Celtic also participated in their own friendly matches in Japan, while Dortmund have also confirmed they will return to play in Osaka this summer as part of an Asian tour.

"We are pleased to be visiting Japan this summer,” said Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe. “It's an amazing country and it will be a unique experience for our players, staff and supporters.

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"We will be taking on two strong teams at two special stadiums, and I'm sure they will present the type of physical tests we need at that time as we build towards next season."

Meanwhile, Newcastle Chief Commercial Officer Peter Silverstone said: "We thank J.League and docomo for inviting the club to be part of what has become a hugely popular series in the Japanese football calendar.

"Newcastle United has fan communities in Japan and across Asia, and this is an exciting opportunity for the club play in front of local and travelling supporters on an iconic stage as we continue to grow our presence globally.

"Meanwhile, we want to connect and engage with partners both in the UK and in other key territories. As we step out in our new adidas kits, for example, we will be wearing a brand that has a long-established and special connection with Japanese sport and culture, and that presents unique mutual opportunities.

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"For any pre-season tour, our aim is to support the needs of our teams during this crucial period and the players will train and play at elite facilities in Japan. We are continuing to work collaboratively on our overall pre-season schedule and hope to announce additional matches in the UK and Europe soon."

Ticket information and further details - including plans for supporter events in Tokyo - will be confirmed in due course. Supporters wishing to attend Newcastle United's matches in Japan can register their interest in purchasing tickets here.

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