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SA DIARY

Posted on 20 July 2007  - 12:00

A double session, meeting the local fans and travelling to a local orphanage was the order of the day during our first full 24 hours in South Africa.

A double session, meeting the local fans and travelling to a local orphanage was the order of the day during our first full 24 hours in South Africa.The first stop of the day in Durban was a media briefing ahead of our opening game of the Vodacom Challenge with Martin Jol and Didier Zokora travelling to the venue of our first game on Saturday, the ABSA Stadium, which is also home to the Natal Sharks rugby team.

They were joined on the top table by Kaizer Chiefs manager Muhsin Ertugral and midfielder David Obau.

At the conclusion of the press conference our opponents headed for training on a field adjacent to the ABSA Stadium, while our boys set off to an open training session in hot and humid conditions at the Kingsmead Cricket Ground, which will play host to some of the 20-20 World Cup games later this year. The oval was put to good use with plenty of space for goalkeeper training, the main session and for the physios to work with players coming back from injury.

After training the players met with the fans to sign autographs and pose for pictures.

In the afternoon, Jermain Defoe, Pascal Chimbonda, Tom Huddlestone, Darren Bent and Paul Stalteri made the trip to the St Vincent's Children's home where a special day was put on for the youngsters.

St Vincent's is home to 101 orphans between the ages of two and 18.

Our players, along with those from the Kaizer Chiefs, were greeted by balloons and song from the children and were happy to join in the fun, handing out gifts to the youngsters who were overjoyed to be visited by players from the two sides.

It was clear that, despite the warmth between the players and in particular Darren and his former Charlton teammate Shaun Bartlett, there is a steely determination from both sets of players to emerge victorious from the encounter at the ABSA Stadium on Saturday.

The players and children interacting was heartwarming to watch and our players all commented afterwards on how much they enjoyed the visit.

Our first game in the Vodacom Challenge comes on Saturday afternoon - kick-off 2.15pm UK time - and you can see the match live on our internet channel Spurs TV Online.