The views in these blogs are those held by the individual blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of Everton Football Club.
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By Media and Publications Manager Darren Griffiths
Former Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke and current Australian fast-bowler Brett Lee have both been fortunate recipients of my company in the last two days!
‘Yorkie', as the likes of Phil Neville, David Beckham and I call him, is coming out of retirement to play for Sydney FC against Everton on Saturday and he did a press call at the magnificent Star City complex on Wednesday.
He's a genuinely nice chap and happily conducted a one-to-one interview with me for evertontv. He's obviously looking forward to the game and to seeing his former United team-mate Neville, but he stressed that it's all strictly a ‘one-off' for him and that he has no plans to interrupt his 8-month retirement.
As for Brett Lee, he's a close pal of Tim Cahill and he was at the ANZ Stadium on Friday morning to watch the Everton squad in training. Another likeable fellow, he joined in some shooting practice with Tim and a few of the lads at the end of the session...and he won't mind me saying that most of his efforts on goal went for six!
Tim himself took centre stage on Thursday night when the entire travelling Everton party were driven about an hour from the centre of Sydney to the western district of Rooty Hill for a charity dinner.
The Tim Cahill Cancer Fund for Children is now over $100,000 richer following the hugely successful event at a Rooty Hill hotel - with several of the Blues players helping the bidding along when the auction was staged.
It's actually been a busy few days for us in Sydney. The media have been invited to watch a couple of training sessions and we've had several press conferences as the build-up to the first match of the tour gathers pace.
As well as speaking to the media, David Moyes also conducted a ‘coaching clinic' out at our West Tigers training base for soccer coaches from the local area. He spoke to them at length, happily answering all their coaching-related queries.
Mikel Arteta was obviously a happy man on Friday morning when he walked around the dining area collecting all his winnings from the many bets he had riding on the World Cup semi-final. Spain defeated Germany to reach the final and Mikel's confidence in his countrymen paid handsome dividends for him!
It's Friday afternoon here as I type this latest blog and the weather is quintessentially English. It's lashing down!
The manager and Phil Neville have just spent 45 minutes doing the pre-match press conference and Phil, don't forget, will be alongside me in the commentary box when Everton take on Sydney.
He's looking forward to it and he asked me if we are able to have a laugh whilst doing it! I confirmed that indeed we are and that we'll probably get dozens of emails during the match.
Don't let me down!
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