Everton arrive in Tanzania for match against Kenya’s Gor Mahia

Wayne Rooney in Tanzania
Wayne Rooney was among the Everton first team enjoying a reception in Tanzania. Photo: Twitter/HCSarahCooke

Everton have arrived in Tanzania for their fixture against Kenyan side Gor Mahia.

Gor Mahia are Kenya’s most most successful side, having won the domestic top division a record 15 times throughout their history.

Yesterday, the Blues travelled directly from Liverpool John Moore’s airport and touched down around 10am local time.

The players arrived at the hotel to be welcomed by a Maasai tribe, with plenty of local fans there too. Leighton Baines revealed the players are excited to experience what Tanzania has to offer over the next few days.

Forty lucky Evertonians were given a VIP experience by gaining exclusive access to watch the players train on the eve of the fixture. As well as posing for a group photo with manager Ronald Koeman, his staff and players, the travelling Blues were all handed a complimentary 2017/18 Everton away shirt. The kit was only unveiled two days ago, becoming the first fans to own the new grey offering from Umbro.

The Merseyside club made some time for a bit of fun on their first day in the country with two teams of Everton stars facing off against each other in a Cooking Challenge.

Phil Jagielka and Dominic Calvert-Lewin were pitted against Davy Klaassen and Matty Pennington in a contest that tested their culinary skills, with the teams trying their hand at two typical Tanzanian dishes.

Jagielka and Calvert-Lewin had white snapper with ugali, a maize porridge, while Klaassen and Pennington were given ndizi-nyama – plantain with meat.

Assisted by Niko, the head chef of the Seacliff Hotel, the two teams learnt a bit more about Tanzanian cuisine and created two delicious dishes that were then tried by Blues ambassador Graham Stuart, who picked his winner.

Some of the team also sampled Tanzanian food at a local restaurant.

Meanwhile Idrissa Gana Gueye, Ademola Lookman, Leighton Baines and Yannick Bolasie visited Uhuru Mchanganyiko School in Dar es Salaam, where they learnt how UK aid is ensuring deaf and blind students receive the same level of education as their classmates.

To gain a better understanding of what life is like for the estimated 18,400 deafblind children in Tanzania, Leighton Baines, Yannick Bolasie, Ademola Lookman and Idrissa Gana Gueye put on blindfolds and took part in a competitive game of goalball, a version of football that uses a ball with a bell inside it.

Tonight, the team were guests at a reception attended by the UK’s High Commissioner to Tanzania, Sarah Cooke in their capacity as sporting ambassadors.

The game against Gor Mahia from the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam is being live streamed on the Blues’ website with kick off at 3pm (UK time) 5pm (Kenya time).

Season ticket holders, members and lounge members can watch the game live for free, with any other football fans wishing to tune in able to do so for £3.99.