Stoke City and Accrington Stanley lie in wait for Hibs on pre-season training camp

Hibs are set to be re-united with former Easter Road winger Michael O’Neill this week.
Michael O'Neill, manager of Stoke City (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)Michael O'Neill, manager of Stoke City (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
Michael O'Neill, manager of Stoke City (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

The Stoke City manager will provide opposition for one of two closed-door bounce games for Jack Ross’ squad on their pre-season training camp in England which started yesterday (Sunday).

The Potters, who finished 14th in the skybet Championship last season, will line up in Friday’s match to round off a week of training which will also include another closed doors friendly with Accrington Stanley.

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Stoke boss O’Neill played 112 times for Hibs between 1993 and 1995, scoring 24 times before being sold to Coventry City. He is not alone in having a link to Easter Road in the Stoke dressing room either. Lewis Stevenson could line up against his old team-mate Steven Fletcher who is another familiar face amongst the Stoke ranks.

The pair of private matches follow the weekend win over Dunfermline, 4-1 at East Mains, and another success on Friday night 5-3 against Civil Service Strollers and will mark another step of progression for Jack Ross’ players’ pre-season preparations.

“Next week becomes more refined towards matches, and the calibre of opponent more challenging,” the manager told Hibs TV. “We play Accrington Stanley on Tuesday and then Stoke on Friday so those are two really good games when we are away as well.”

While the first-team face League One Accrington, the youngsters of the development squad have stayed at home and will face Dunbar United tomorrow evening. The match at New Countess Park has a 7.30pm kick-off.

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Hibs could also learn their most likely destination in the UEFA Europa Conference second qualifying round while they are away in England. Potential opponents Mons Calpe Sports Club or FC Santa Coloma meet in the first leg of their tie on Thursday evening before next week’s return leg.

The winner will face Hibs on July 22 and 29, three days before the Premiership campaign kicks off at Motherwell.

Prior to that Hibs face Raith Rovers in Iain Davidson’s testimonial and also welcome Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal to Easter Road for the eagerly anticipated glamour friendly on July 13.

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