Magpies set for open day

St James's Park
St James's Park

Newcastle United will hold the club’s annual open day at St James’s Park next week.

The event, on Thursday August 17, is aimed at giving thousands of young fans the chance to watch first-team training up close.

The open day has become a hugely popular part of the club’s summer schedule in recent years.

A combined total of around 25,000 fans have attending the events in the last two seasons.

The day, which will include a dedicated Fan Zone, is free of charge for fans of all ages and will run from 9am until 2pm.

A spokesman for the club said: “The Fan Zone will include fairground rides and a number of football-related activities, including a penalty kick area and speed cage.

“Inside the stadium, which can be accessed via the East Stand, youngsters will get the opportunity to step out onto the pitch from 9:45am when both the Newcastle United Foundation and Newcastle United Academy run training sessions.

“Fans will be able to see Rafa Benítez putting the first team through their paces from approximately 10:30am.”

After that, a few lucky supporters get the chance to take part in a special challenge at the end of the session.

The full schedule is as follows:

*9am - Fan Zone and East Stand turnstiles open

*9:45am - 10:15pm - Foundation and Academy training sessions

*10:30am (approx.) - 11:45am - First team training session

*11:45am - Fan challenge

*2pm - Fan Zone closes

Residents and visitors to the city are advised that Strawberry Place will be closed to traffic from midnight until 4pm on Thursday 17 August.