Everything we know about Leeds United's 2019/20 pre-season so far - Manchester United, Australia and what has been said

Leeds United now have a summer of reflection following the end of the 2018/19 campaign - but what are their plans for the coming pre-season?

Wednesday, 22nd May 2019, 3:21 pm
Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa at Guiseley last summer.

Let's take a look at what we know so far...

When will Leeds United's pre-season start?

Following Marcelo Bielsa's arrival last summer, United's senior players were recalled for pre-season earlier than originally scheduled.

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Leeds started their preparations on June 25 and this year it wouldn't be a surprise to see a similar date once again.

The Argentine implemented gruelling triple sessions at Thorp Arch last summer as he whipped his squad into shape. Expect much of the same.

Leeds completed six pre-season fixtures last season, which were all UK-based with Bielsa utilising the games to make any final decisions over players.

What plans are already in place?

As it stands, United's only official pre-season plans at this current moment in time is their highly-anticipated trip to Australia which was announced last November.

Leeds will play two fixtures during a summer tour down under, which will be their first visit to the country since 2002 under then boss Terry Venables.

The friendlies will form part of an extended training camp at an advanced stage of pre-season, setting Leeds up for their centenary year.

What games and who will Leeds play in Australia?

Manchester United - KO 7pm (12pm UK), July 17 (Optus Stadium, Perth)

Western Sydney Wanderers - KO tbc, July 20 (Bankwest Stadium)

United are scheduled to play two fixtures during their visit to Australia.

Leeds will take on rivals Manchester United in Perth at the 60,000-seater Optus Stadium on July 17, before facing Western Sydney Wanderers three days later.

The Whites will take part in the inaugural game at the brand new Bankwest Stadium in New South Wales.

The stadium has a capacity of up to 30,000, with over 7,000 United fans expected to be in attendance from both the UK and Australia.

Why are Leeds United going to Australia?

United have a strong following from Australia after the success of imports from the country during the club's Premier League days.

Mark Viduka, Harry Kewell and Michael Bridges were just some of those to find success in West Yorkshire.

A settled training camp outside of the pressures of Leeds could also be a major factor, and of course, the marketing opportunity and chance to face bitter rivals Manchester United once more.

What has been said by key figures?

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa: “I am pleased that we have been given the opportunity to take the team over to Australia to help us prepare for the 2019/20 season.

"To play in the first international sporting event at the new Western Sydney Stadium will be an honour and we are all looking forward to the occasion.”

Leeds United captain Liam Cooper: "It’s an occasion which we all feel very honoured to be involved in.

"We also plan on spending time in Parramatta and learning more about the local area and its culture as well as meeting the locals and all those who have travelled over from Leeds.”

Leeds United CEO Angus Kinnear: "A lot of hard work behind-the-scenes has gone into making this possible and I’m sure it will be a great success.

“The trip, including the game against long-standing rivals Manchester United, will be a fantastic part of our centenary season and it is expected to attract thousands of visitors.

“From the feedback we’ve seen since the first reports of the project, we envisage around four to five thousand of those visitors being our passionate supporters from all over the world – we look forward to seeing you all there.”

Western Sydney Wanderers CEO John Tsatsimas: “We are very excited about our return to Bankwest Stadium and there is no better way to open the stadium for football than with a match against storied English football club Leeds United.

“Bankwest Stadium is a world-class venue and we are looking forward to giving our members and fans an experience to remember against Leeds.”

New South Wales Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres: “This will be a historic day for Western Sydney football fans as their home team lines up against one of English football’s most storied clubs, marking the first international fixture at the new stadium.

“The Wanderers will be returning to their spiritual home in Parramatta and playing against the club well known to Australian’s through the likes of former Socceroos striker Mark Viduka, along with former A-League star Michael Bridges.”

When does the 2019/20 Championship season start?

The opening weekend of the 2019/20 Championship campaign falls on August 3/4.

This would leave the weekend before - July 27/28 - free for any potential Elland Road friendly that has been a permanent fixture the week before the season in recent years.