Aston Villa have already set down a marker this summer with the signing of John Terry prior to the beginning of the 2017-18 season.
The former Chelsea legend has joined the Championship club on an initial one-year contract, and Villa hold the option of extending that by a further year.
Terry made his bow in a match against Shrewsbury Town, which Villa lost, but their pre-season is about to begin in earnest, and the 36-year-old will hope for better results as Steve Bruce’s men prepare for a promotion challenge.
ASTON VILLA PRE-SEASON FIXTURES
|Date||Opponent||Time (local / BST)||Venue|
|Jul 23||MSV Duisburg||12:00 / 13:00||Schauinisland-Reisen-Arena, Duisburg|
|Jul 25||Vitesse Arnhem||17:00 / 18:00||Stimberg Stadion, Oer-Erkenschwick|
|Jul 28||Tamworth||19:30 / 19:30||The Lamb, Tamworth|
|Jul 29||Watford||15:00 / 15:00||Villa Park, Birmingham|
Aston Villa’s pre-season has already begun in earnest, with games against several lower-league sides drawing mixed results.
Wins against Telford and Kidderminster ensured a promising start, before a 2-1 loss to Shrewsbury, which featured new signing Terry, and a 0-0 draw with Walsall sapped morale.
Villa now fly to Germany to continue their preparations, competing in the Schauinsland-Reisen tournament, with a game against MSV Duisburg scheduled. Matches last just 45 minutes, and Werder Bremen, FC Koln and Malaga are also set to take part.
Villa will then face Vitesse Arnhem in Germany, prior to an XI of players facing Tamworth in England.
Steve Bruce's side will then complete their preparations against Watford in a Graham Taylor Tribute encounter at Villa Park.
WHEN DOES THE SEASON START?
Villa’s competitive campaign gets under way on August 5, with a home game against recently relegated Hull City.
Both sides have promotion aspirations this season, and the game offers a chance for the two to set down a marker for the remainder of the campaign.
In a flurry of fixtures, Villa then travel to Colchester United, Cardiff City and Reading prior to a home game against Norwich City and a trip to Bristol City.
Steve Bruce’s men will hope, then, to have secured a position in the play-off places by the time September rolls around.