South Shields to prepare for Wembley by training at Sunderland and Newcastle

South Shields joint manager Lee Picton has thanked Sunderland and Newcastle United for allowing the club to use their facilities. Image by Peter Talbot.

South Shields joint manager Lee Picton has thanked Sunderland and Newcastle United for allowing the club to use their facilities. Image by Peter Talbot.

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South Shields are set to get a taste of the high life ahead of their trip to Wembley next weekend.

The club’s last four training sessions before the FA Vase final will be carried out at the training grounds of North East big guns Sunderland and Newcastle United.

We’d like to thank both clubs for supporting us so generously by allowing us to use their facilities

Lee Picton

The Mariners will train at Sunderland’s Academy of Light tonight, on Saturday and on Tuesday, before a final session at Newcastle’s academy next Thursday.

Three days after that, Shields will be stepping onto the famous Wembley turf for their date with destiny.

For joint manager Lee Picton, training at such state-of-the-art venues is not just a reward for the players – it also offers practical benefits for the Mariners.

He said: “We have really enjoyed using the brand-new 4G facility at South Shields this season.

“However, in preparation for this massive, one-off game, we wanted to try to replicate the conditions we will have at Wembley as best as we can ahead of the game.

“Using the fantastic surfaces at both Sunderland and Newcastle will give us a great opportunity to do that.

“We’d like to thank both clubs for supporting us so generously by allowing us to use their facilities.”

Shields – who have won three trophies already this season – take on Cleethorpes Town in the final of the FA Vase on Sunday, May 21 at Wembley.