Manchester City Football Club are delighted to confirm that they will take part in the Vodacom Challenge in South Africa as the main part of their pre-season preparations for the 2009/10 Barclays Premier League campaign.
The tournament, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, sees the Blues take on the two biggest clubs in South Africa. City will play Orlando Pirates on 18th July in Cape Town and Kaizer Chiefs in Durban on 21st July. The tournament will come to an exciting finale in Pretoria on 25th July when City will play one of the two South African sides in the final. The announcement of the tour details came at a press conference held this afternoon in Johannesburg at which Chief Executive Officer Garry Cook and Manager Mark Hughes joined Dr Irvin Khoza and Kaizer Motaung, Chairmen of Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs respectively.
As well as fulfilling the football commitments on the pitch, the squad will be involved in a substantial number of community and corporate CSR initiatives throughout their visit.
Speaking of the tour, Mark Hughes said, “Our visit to South Africa for the Vodacom Challenge will give us the perfect preparation for next season. With the great climate, excellent facilities and the fanatical support behind the Orlando Pirates and the Kaizer Chiefs, our visit will also give our players a superb introduction to the country ahead of a return in 2010 with their respective countries for the World Cup”.
Garry Cook added, “Manchester City Football Club are delighted to have been invited to take part in the 2009 Vodacom Challenge. It's a very exciting time for sport in South Africa, with the FIFA Confederations Cup, the Lions Tour and the 2010 World Cup just around the corner, and we are honoured to be involved. Playing against two of the biggest clubs in the country will not only be a tough challenge, but will also be a key component in our own pre-season preparations.
“Our visit to South Africa is not just about the football, we will be engaging with community groups in each of the Vodacom Challenge's host cities and pooling knowledge from our own background with our award-winning City In The Community scheme in Manchester”.