NEWPORT County AFC have secured a home friendly against Severnside rivals Bristol City, with the Championship side set to be welcomed to Spytty Park.

The Exiles will welcome the Robins to the city on Wednesday, July 11 (kick-off 7.30pm) at either their Rodney Parade home or, most likely, their old stomping ground, Newport Stadium.

The Rodney Parade pitch, home to County, the Dragons and Newport RFC, is currently being renovated ahead of 2018/19.

It will be fine if the Exiles are given a home League Two opener when the fixtures are announced on Thursday, June 21 but it's highly unlikely that it will be ready for the Robins. It could be available for another yet-to-be-announced friendly with a Championship side on Saturday, July 28.

Last summer a hybrid surface, the first of its type, was installed at the famous ground that led to County playing on the road until the fourth week of 2017/18.

Unlike the previous campaign, the pitch held up superbly despite the demands of three sporting teams and specialists have returned to spruce it up.

It has been deeply scarified, aerated, seeded and fertilised. Progress has been good but at this stage guarantees cannot be given for Michael Flynn's side.

Regardless of the venue, a clash with the Robins is sure to attract a healthy crowd with the visitors fresh from finishing 11th in the second tier and enjoying a stunning run to the semi-finals of the League Cup that saw them upset Manchester United, Crystal Palace, Stoke City and Watford.

Flynn has built up an excellent relationship with Bristol City boss Lee Johnson over the past year.

That enabled Flynn to secure the services of highly-rated striker Shawn McCoulsky on loan last season and the 20-year-old went on to score 11 goals, including the winner against Leeds United in the FA Cup third round.

The Exiles will hope that this fixture strengthens the bond between the two clubs as they look to add more high-quality loan signings for the coming campaign.

County have already announced friendlies on the road at Undy AFC on Friday, July 13 (kick-off 7pm), Chippenham Town on Saturday, July 14 (kick-off 3pm), Penybont FC on Wednesday, July 18 (kick-off 7pm), and Hereford FC on Saturday, July 21 (kick-off 3pm).

Speaking at last week's supporters' meeting, outgoing chief executive officer Alex Tunbridge explained the club's pre-season plans.

"Lots of people ask why we never play Premier League sides," he said. "Unfortunately they play their games against lower-league sides early and then jet off to the Far East, America or Australia.

"They don't want to be playing games towards the end of pre-season, which is when we can get on the pitch at Rodney Parade.

"That said, we are going to kick off hopefully at Spytty against a Championship side on July 11.

"We'll have another game against a Championship side behind closed doors before we take on Hereford and we'll probably look to squeeze one more game in against a National League side on July 24.

"Then we'll hopefully play what will be our showpiece game at Rodney Parade on July 28, subject to the work that is being done on the pitch at the moment."