Tottenham Hotspur is delighted to confirm that the Club will take part in the 2011 Vodacom Challenge as part of a pre-season training camp in South Africa ahead of the 2011/2012 campaign.
The tournament, which the Club successfully won on their last visit to the country in 2007, will see Spurs play matches against two of South Africa’s most high profile teams Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.
The challenge commences on Saturday 16 July, when Tottenham Hotspur take on Kaizer Chiefs. Spurs will then play Orlando Pirates on Tuesday 19 July, before playing in the final on Saturday 23 July against the winner of the Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates Derby.
There is a special relationship between Tottenham Hotspur and South Africa. Spurs first visited the country in 1963 as holders of the European Cup Winners’ Cup and again in 2003 to support South Africa’s bid for the 2010 World Cup.
Tottenham Hotspur defender Michael Dawson said, “Pre-season is an important time and preparation is key in order to start the season well. The Vodacom Challenge will be a good test for us. We have a strong relationship with South Africa and there is a real passion for football in the country.
“The Club works with SOS Children's Villages in South Africa and I had the great pleasure of visiting the Tottenham Hotspur orphan house in Rustenburg last year."
The Club has a well established presence in South Africa through its joint academy with Premier Soccer League Champions SuperSport United and several charity and community-based initiatives. Since 2007 the Club has announced three separate partnerships with current Premier Soccer League champions SuperSport United, children’s orphan charity SOS Children’s Villages and South African specialist bank and asset manager Investec.
Three years ago the Club officially opened the doors to the Tottenham Hotspur House in the SOS Children’s Village in Rustenburg. The house, which is funded using money from player fines, is now home to a family of children all in full-time education. Members of the current First Team also sponsor orphans in the village as part of the Club’s work with the charity. In July last year Michael Dawson met 12-year-old Aubrey, the orphan he sponsors at the village in Rustenburg, experiencing firsthand the impact of the Club’s relationship with SOS Children’s Villages.
Since the formation of a Club partnership with SuperSport United, the South African team has successfully won three back to back PSL titles (2008, 2009 and 2010). Following investment from the Club a joint academy based in Johannesburg has been established and a successful coach and player exchange programme has been implemented that has seen academy players visit the UK for training and tournaments.
In January, Spurs secured the transfer of SuperSport United’s 23-year-old defender and South African international Bongani Khumalo. The transfer followed a successful season for the player who captained SuperSport United to a third league title as well as scoring for South Africa against France in the 2010 World Cup.
In July last year, Investec became the Club’s first ever cup shirt sponsor. The South African company’s name and logo features on the Club’s playing shirts in all cup competition matches including European club competitions, FA Cup and League Cup.
South Africa has also become an important destination for the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation. For the last two years, the Foundation and teachers from Haringey Council’s Children and Young People's Service have embarked on an educational exchange trip to South Africa working in partnership with both SuperSport United and SOS Children.
With an established and passionate supporter base in South Africa, the visit will provide a great opportunity for the Club to further strengthen links with fans and partners, as well as provide the team with the perfect preparation for the 2011/2012 season.
Ticket information and venues for each of our matches will be made available in due course.