As part of their pre-season preparations, Extension Gunners will take on England third tier side Bristol City in a Friendship Cup clash billed for the National Stadium in Gaborone on July 21. Gunners’ chairman, Kitso Dlamini promised that the team will be at its best when they take on the English club, nicknamed “The Robins”. Speaking on Monday in Gaborone, Dlamini said his club welcomes the game as it will give players an opportunity to learn a lot from their English counterparts.
“We are up to the challenge and I ‘m sure our players will impress. We hope playing against Bristol City will open doors for our club,” said Dlamini.
The game against Bristol city will be Gunners’ second encounter against a club from outside Botswana in a space of one week. Last Thursday, Mapantsula took on South African side Platinum Stars in a game they lost 3-1. For his part, Steve Lansdown, a major shareholder at City, said his club is excited about their trip to Botswana and that their participation in the Friendship Cup was their way of giving back to the community.
“We hope to share knowledge with Gunners and help them improve. We also want to entertain the football people. We’re not here on a holiday because this is part of our pre-season preparations,” he said.┬á
Lansdown was further quoted on the club’s website saying Botswana is a beautiful country and his 35-man squad was enjoying their stay in the country. The Robins’ manager Steve Cotterill told his club website that they look forward to their stay in Botswana.
“I think it will be quite a good trip. It will be educational and I imagine the games will be difficult because they’re going to be fit and athletic. What we want is a tough pre-season preparation,” said Cotterill.
City is currently based in Rustenburg and they will head for Gaborone on Friday morning. The organizer of the game, Ronald Modikana said they are excited about hosting Bristol City as the game will market Botswana as a country and raise funds for the needy.
“We chose Gunners because they are a community-based team. They are an ambitious side,” he said.
For his part, Botswana’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Roy Blackbeard thanked the Lansdown family for having seen it fit to bring their club to Botswana.
“They’re the first side to come here and I would like to see more British teams visiting the country,” said Blackbeard. Tickets for the game are sold for P100 and P50 at Shoprite/Checkers stores.