Forty Evertonians were given a VIP experience on the first day of the Club’s visit to Tanzania.
Loyal Blues were rewarded for following Everton to Dar es Salaam by gaining exclusive access to watch the players train on the eve of the Club’s groundbreaking fixture against the winners of last month’s SportPesa Super Cup, Gor Mahia.
There was the opportunity for a group photo with manager Ronald Koeman, his staff and players.
Plus, the travelling Blues were all handed a complimentary 2017/18 Everton away shirt, which was unveiled only two days ago
. As a result, they are the first fans to own the new grey offering from Umbro.
For one supporter, it was an extra-special occasion as, despite supporting Everton for more than 50 years, Thursday will be the first time he has had the opportunity to watch the Toffees play a match.
Johannesburg-based Michael Smith caught a flight from South Africa, knowing the opportunity was one not to be missed.
He said: “I’ve supported Everton since I’ve been a kid - I used to read about Everton a lot in the early 1960s.
“A lot of Everton’s matches are now shown on TV in South Africa. I also follow the Club on Twitter and I have the app on my phone.
“I’m just super-excited that I got an invite to come to the training session and I can’t wait for the game.”
In stark contrast, George Freeman travelled from Merseyside and made the 7,000-mile journey via Dubai.
“It’s a great pleasure to be here,” he added. “I follow the team near and far - I don’t like to miss a game and my life is organised around Everton Football Club.
“I’ve never been so close to watching the team train. The Club has been great, especially involving the supporters as much as possible and appreciating the journey they have made.
“I’m looking forward to the game tomorrow and hopefully seeing Wayne [Rooney] play in an Everton shirt again.”
Watch Everton play Gor Mahia for free by subscribing to the Club’s official membership team. Click here for details.