Premier League leading powerhouse Manchester United are set for another tour of Australia where they will play an A-League All-Stars team selected by fans next July.
United, coming off a spectacular 3-2 Sunday win against hometown rivals Manchester City, last visited Australia some 13 years ago when they played two matches against the Socceroos. The 2013 visit will be their third Down Under and the club will also hold its pre-season training camp in Sydney.
The Manchester United against the A-League All-Stars game will be a huge draw for football in Australia. The A-League is having its most successful season on the back of a number of big international signings and the July 20th game will most likely fill the 80,000 seat ANZ Stadium in Sydney.
The state of New South Wales is funding United’s tour to the tune of $3 million, but government estimates expect the game to bring in some 20,000 international and interstate visitors who are anticipated to add $16 million to the local economy.
The last time United travelled to Australia the club left behind big names including the likes of David Beckham, Gary Neville and Paul Scholes, but the 2013 agreement is said to ensure that such a move won’t occur this time around. Scholes may still be around for this visit, as will the likes of Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs.
Former Man United star, and one-time Sydney FC member, turned club ambassador Dwight Yorke was in Sydney Monday to promote the tour, but he predicted a tough outing for the A-Leaguers.
"I've got to be totally honest, it's not going to be easy for the A-League guys," Yorke said.
"It is going to be a real challenge for them.
"But, they will get a lot of benefit. They'll get the chance to play against some of the best players – it's a chance a lot of them might not get again. I just hope they are not intimidated by it all and enjoy the experience."
July 2013 will be a huge month sporting wise for Sydney, or more specifically ANZ Stadium. The Wallabies will host the British on the 6th and a number of blockbuster Origin and NRL games will be played either side of the Manchester United date.
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