Former Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney will be in the Everton squad that will fly to face Kenyan giants Gor Mahia in a friendly match to be played in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on Thursday.
This comes hot on the heels of the 31 year old’s transfer back to his boyhood club, from where he launched his illustrious career before being signed by United in 2004. Rooney went on to become United’s record goal scorer, having scored a total of 253 goals during the 13 years he spent at Old Trafford.
The match against 15 time Kenyan champions Gor Mahia on 13th July will be the first in Everton’s pre-season tour, which the England international has said will be a good opportunity for him to know his teammates. “Ive never been to Tanzania, so I’m really looking forward to it”, he told the club website.
Rooney’s move to Everton was announced shortly before United flew to Los Angeles for their pre-season tour. The striker had fallen down the pecking order at United and was mostly left out of the first eleven for both club and country throughout the season. He will be hoping to get more playing time with his new club and perhaps convince England manager Gareth Southgate to recall him for the World Cup slated for June 2018 in Russia.
Gor Mahia will be the English Premier League’s side opponents by virtue of winning the SportPesa Super Cup which was also played in Dar es Salaam in June. The tournament organized by SportPesa featured four teams from Kenya and four from Tanzania. Kogalo beat their Kenyan archrivals AFC Leopards 3-0 in the final to book a date with the Toffees.
This match is courtesy of Kenyan gaming firm SportPesa, who are the official shirt sponsors of both Everton and Gor Mahia, among other clubs in Kenya, Tanzania and England. It will be the second match between a Kenyan side and an English Premier League team this year. A Kenyan select team dubbed SportPesa AllStars lost 2-1 to a weakened Hull City at the K Com Stadium in February.
‘Wazza’, as Rooney is fondly called by his fans, has signed a two year deal with the Merseyside club but intends to retire from international football after the World Cup. The man who has won the Champions League and five Premier League titles with Man United will definitely be the star attraction at the National Stadium alongside other stars like Ross Barkley, Aaron Lennon, Yannick Bolasie, Morgan Schneiderlin and Gerard Deulofeu.
The team is expected to land in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday morning. The much anticipated match will be televised on Everton TV, ITV, EATV, SuperSport 9East and KTN Home at 5:00pm.