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Spurs in SA

Posted on 14 July 2011  - 12:00

A round-up of day one of the club's tour of South Africa...

It was a busy first day for the squad after landing in South Africa on Thursday morning.

The lads were offered a vibrant welcome to Johannesburg Airport with our South African-based fans joined by the vocal support of host clubs Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.

Legendary former skipper Gary Mabbutt, with the squad in his role as Club Ambassador, gave a speech at a morning press conference to mark the start of the Vodacom Challenge.

'Mabbsy', who was also an ambassador for South Africa's successful 2010 World Cup bid, then joined Michael Dawson and assistant manager Kevin Bond for interviews at the packed conference centre.

'Daws' was certainly centre of attention as the cameras flashed away during interviews.

Daws, SA

After lunch it was down to the business of pre-season training and what better place to start than the iconic Ellis Park stadium, now known at Coca-Cola Park.

It's here that South Africa landed the 1995 Rugby World Cup and president Nelson Mandela famously handed over the trophy to Francois Pienaar.

Another Pienaar - our own Steven - was back in the stadium that hosted a number of World Cup matches last summer as we staged our first training session of the tour.

The lads went through a series of runs before ball work and finally an exercise and running circuit at the end of the session.

Onto the evening and the Vodacom Challenge banquet staged at the team's hotel in Johannesburg.

Sponsors, organisers and all three teams were represented at the banquet and our players spent the first half-hour signing autographs for everyone.

sa, july 14

Representatives of Chiefs, Pirates, the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan, Vodacom, tournament promoters SAIL plus Nomvula Mokonyane, Premier of Gauteng Provence and Mabbsy all addressed the banquet.

Mabbsy said: "We greatly appreciate the wonderful welcome we've received since we landed this morning.

"South Africa is home from home for Tottenham. This is the Club's fourth visit and we're delighted to come to South Africa again and compete in the Vodacom Challenge.

"We know we're up against tough opposition and I'm sure the Pirates in-particular will be out for revenge after we beat them in the final in 2007."

The squad will fly to Polokwane on Friday and train at the Peter Mokaba Stadium, one of the venues built for last summer's World Cup.