Spanish side Vallecano line up for Pompey friendly

Mark Catlin
Mark Catlin
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Pompey have lined up Spanish side Rayo Vallecano to complete their pre-season.

The La Liga outfit are scheduled to visit Fratton Park on Sunday, July 28.

Based in Madrid, Vallecano finished eighth in Spain’s top flight last season.

They are already over in England this summer for the testimonial of Millwall skipper Paul Robinson.

That will take place on Saturday, July 27 – after they clash with MK Dons on Wednesday, July 24.

Now chief executive Mark Catlin has used his Spanish contacts to bring them to Pompey.

And the Spanish side will be obligated to field a strong team against Guy Whittingham’s men in the deal.

Pompey had been in talks with a London-based Premier League side for that vacant date a week before the season begins.

Yet there were concerns they would end up taking on a development team rather than a first XI considering Pompey’s League Two status at present.

That was a worry for Whittingham who is keen for his team to take on some challenging opposition in the build-up to the Saturday, August 3 opener.

It led to Vallecano coming to the fore and the fixture will be sealed in the next few days.

The Madrid outfit’s home has a capacity of 14,708 but they continue to hold their own in La Liga.

Former Pompey loanee Leo Biagini moved to Vallecano after an eight-game spell on the south coast in 2001-02.

And Vallecano were also the last club of former England international Laurie Cunningham before he was killed in a car crash just outside Madrid in 1989.

That fixture will mean the schedule for Pompey’s pre-season is now complete.

The Blues’ other Fratton Park friendly will be against Championship side Charlton on Saturday, July 20.