Rooney wary of Gor threat in Everton clash

Rooney wary of Gor threat in Everton clash

Wayne Rooney has said he expects a tough encounter against Gor Mahia FC hours ahead of his second Everton debut against the Kenyan giants at the Uhuru Stadium in Dar es Salaam.

The former England captain and all-time leading goalscorer who rejoined his boyhood club Everton on a two-year deal after 13 trophy-laden years at Old Trafford received raucous reception at the Tanzanian commercial capital and is looking forward to Thursday’s clash.

“It’s great to be here in Tanzania, a new experience for myself, to come over here and enjoy it and hopefully there will be plenty of excitement with the game.

“It was a great welcome. A few of the lads have done different things in the local community and we’ve prepared for the game. It will be a tough match, especially at the start of pre-season,” Rooney said.

Everton Manager Ronald Koeman brought his entire squad but Ross Barkley, Ramiro Funes Mori, Joel Robles (all injured). Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and Sandro Ramirez are also absent after the pair was given extended leave after their involvement in the European Under-21 Championship.

New signings Davy Klaassen and Michael Keane will be available for selection with Koeman confirming all players who made the trip will feature for at least 45 minutes.

With the odds stacked heavily against his charges, Gor’s new Head Coach Dylan Kerr has urged his side to summon all their powers and show Everton and indeed the world the magnitude of their might.

“It’s a great chance and this has definitely drawn global attention. For the players it should be an opportunity to prove their worth on the big stage.

“Rooney is back at the club so the extent of the magnitude of this clash cannot be overstated. For East African football it’s the right moment to show the world their technical and physical abilities,” Kerr told Citizen Digital ahead of what will be his managerial debut at the club.

The Briton bore no fears for their English opponents who would sit worlds away from them on a football hierarchy and asked his players to play a ‘beautiful game’.

“You know I’ve had only one full training session with them and it went very well. My philosophy is the same as that which I brought to Tanzania and that is to get the fans to enjoy the soccer,” Kerr, who previously coached Tanzanian giants Simba in 2015 added.

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Story By Matthews Mutai
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