Soccer

Utd taking AmaZulu seriously

2012-07-17 16:49
Alex Ferguson (File)

Durban - Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson insists his team will not be taking the first match of their pre-season tour to South Africa lightly ahead of their meeting with AmaZulu here on Wednesday.

The 19-time English champions arrived in the country on Monday night on the first stop of a world tour, which also includes a visit to China and three European countries.

They are without big names Wayne Rooney, Patrice Evra and Nani, all of whom did duty at the recent European Championships and have been left home to recuperate.

United are looking to put behind them a forgettable 12 months in which they failed to win a major trophy, an unusual occurrence in recent seasons.

“We won’t be treating this lightly, we never do,” Ferguson told reporters on Tuesday.

“It’s an important start to a season after the disappointment of last year.

“Obviously we want to recover that title - that’s our priority number one this year, winning that title back."

Ferguson said he hoped for a good game against AmaZulu and said his players had been training for 10 days and were ready.

"They need a game now and hopefully it will be one we’re all going to enjoy.”

Ferguson urged South African supporters not to be too despondent over the absence of some of their key men, including Ryan Giggs.

The legendary Welshman is preparing with the British Olympic football team for the Games that begin later in July.

“I know there’ll be disappointment from many fans because we don’t see Rooney, (Ashley) Young, (Phil) Jones and a few other who at the European Championships which is naturally difficult to bring them after such a difficult competition.

“But the fans here should know that we still have some quality players here like Rio (Ferdinand), Michael Carrick, (Antonio) Valencia, Chicharito, our new signings (Shinji) Kagawa and (Nick) Powell.

“There’s also an opportunity to see some young potential at the football club, like we’ve brought through over the years.

"You never know which of them will go on to achieve great things.”

Ferguson, whose team also play Ajax Cape Town on the tour, confirmed Ferdinand, Carrick, Scholes, Valencia and Chicharito will all start, along with new Japanese recruit Kagawa.

AmaZulu will use Wednesday's match to mark the official start of their 80th anniversary festivities.

The game will also form part of the celebration of former President Nelson Mandela's 94th birthday.

AmaZulu's coach Roger Palmgren said he looked forward to playing a team so rich in history and pedigree.

“It’s a great honour to play against a team like that,” Palmgren said.

“It’s not just a big team from Europe, but one of the best in the world.

“Even though they haven’t brought all their so-called star players, I think they have an enormously strong team.”

New signings midfielder Dulee Johnson, striker Sifiso Vilakazi and defender Prince Hlela are all expected to play for the home team.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • SS3
    Thu, 31 Jul 2014 @
    04:00
  • SS4
    Thu, 31 Jul 2014 @
    05:00
  • SS5
    Thu, 31 Jul 2014 @
    05:59
  • SS7
    Thu, 31 Jul 2014 @
    06:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
Vote

Will Shakes Mashaba ensure Bafana Bafana qualify for AFCON 2015?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.