Friendly action from last summer when Cliftonville hosts Swansea City U23 at Solitude (Picture: Stephen Hamilton/PressEye.com)

PRE-SEASON FRIENDLY SCHEDULE BEGINNING TO TAKE SHAPE

Despite last season still very much fresh in the memory some clubs are wasting no time in drawing up their preparations for the new campaign with a number already announcing their summer schedule of friendlies.

At the time of writing the pre-season action kicks off at Lakeview Park when Loughgall entertain Europa League bound Glenavon.

Indeed, the Villagers are facing a number of top flight opponents with Warrenpoint Town and Dungannon Swifts visiting while Dean Smith's men make the short journey south to face Darren Mullen's newly promoted Newry City.

Other games include a derby with Armagh City and a trip to Fermanagh to lock horns with IFA Junior Cup holders Enniskillen Rangers.

Larne have also announced details of their schedule, the highlight being a clash with Danske Bank Premiership champions Crusaders at Seaview as well as games, all away from Inver Park, against Warrenpoint Town and Dungannon Swifts.

Matthew Tipton's Portadown have a busy summer in front of them.

The club have announced the inaugural George Richardson Memorial Cup, a 'round-robin' competition in memory of the long serving kit man and club stalwart who passed away last season.

Involving the Ports and three other local clubs, namely Annagh United, Hanover and Tandragee Rovers, the tournament will be held from July 7th to 28th.

Apart from that, the Ports also have games pencilled in against, amongst others, Lisburn Distillery, Banbridge Town, Queen's University and Ards.

And Ards also provide the opposition for Ballyclare Comrades, one of a number of Premiership clubs to visit Dixon Park with Ballymena United and Glentoran also scheduled to travel to the Co. Antrim town.

Tuesday 3rd July
Annagh United v. Richhill AFC
Loughgall v. Glenavon

Saturday 7th July
Annagh United v. Loughgall
Hanover v. Portadown
Warrenpoint Town v. Larne (venue tbc)

Tuesday 10th July
Moyola Park v. Ballyclare Comrades
Tandragee Rovers v. Portadown

Saturday 14th July
Ballyclare Comrades v. Ards
Loughgall v. Warrenpoint Town

Monday 16th July
Wellington Rec. v. Larne

Tuesday 17th July
Annagh United v. Dungannon Swifts
Bangor v. Ballyclare Comrades
Lisburn Distillery v. Portadown
Newry City v. Loughgall

Thursday 19th July
Dungannon Swifts v. Larne

Saturday 21st July
Annagh United v. Portadown (3pm)
Ballyclare Comrades v. Glentoran

Tuesday 24th July
Annagh United v. Hanover
Ards v. Portadown
Ballyclare Comrades v. Ballymena United

Thursday 26th July
Queen's University v. Portadown

Saturday 28th July
Crusaders v. Larne
Enniskillen Rangers v. Loughgall
Tandragee Rovers v. Annagh United

Tuesday 31st July
Armagh City v. Loughgall
Carrick Rangers v. Annagh United
Laurelvale v. Portadown XI
Richhill AFC v. Portadown XI

Thursday 2nd August
Banbridge Town v. Portadown

Saturday 4th August
Comber Rec. v. Portadown

Tuesday 7th August
Annagh United v. Bourneview YM

** Please note that given the fluid nature of pre-season friendlies supporters intending to attend a game are strongly urged to confirm match details (venue, kick-off etc.) with either club.