Manchester United to use SA tour to blood new players

Officials from the club confirmed in Johannesburg on Wednesday that the 19 times English Premier League champions will play at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on July 18 and in the Mother City, at the Cape Town Stadium on July 21.

The club’s director of communications Philip Townsend said United would use the tour to blood new players for the season ahead.

“We use these tours to prepare players for the arduous season ahead and to introduce new players to the team and management,” Townsend said.

“It’s also an opportunity for our fans to witness the team playing first hand.”

After their two previous visits to South Africa, in 2006 and 2008, the Red Devils went on to win the English Premier League.

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“No pressure then,” joked Townsend, who went on to describe the misery they suffered when they were pipped by their neighbours Manchester City for the league title in the last minute of the final game of the season.

“It was pretty horrible,” Townsend said.

“We had just got to the part where we were starting to believe we could do it, then it was snatched away from us.

“Do we learn from it and can we develop and become a better team?

“I certainly hope so, as I never want to go through that again.”

Tickets for the games will be priced at between R150 to R350 and will be available from Computicket from Monday morning at 8am. – Sapa

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