Vitesse revisited

CHRIS LAKEY Norwich City will turn back the clock to one of the most glorious episodes in their history when they play Vitesse Arnhem in the final warm-up game of the summer.

CHRIS LAKEY

Norwich City will turn back the clock to one of the most glorious episodes in their history when they play Vitesse Arnhem in the final warm-up game of the summer.

The Dutch side - one of three City will face this summer - will play at Carrow Road on Friday, August 3, 14 years after becoming the first victims on City's famous Uefa Cup run.

City beat Vitesse 3-0 at Carrow back in 1993 thanks to goals from Efan Ekoku, Jeremy Goss and John Polston.


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A 0-0 draw in Holland completed the aggregate victory, earning a dream tie against German giants Bayern Munich, which City got through thanks to an historic 2-1 first leg win at the Olympic Stadium before losing to a pair of Dennis Bergkamp goals against eventual winners Inter Milan.

Bryan Gunn, City's club liaison, played in both matches against Vitesse and sees the latest meeting as the perfect warm-up for the Championship kick off eight days later at Preston.

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“It will be a big test,” said Gunn. “It's on the Friday before the following Saturday start, and that was the reason for getting tough games in, to build-up gradually.

“We've got a game away at Exeter and then we've got some games at local level against King's Lynn and Lowestoft and then obviously a couple of games in Holland.

“It culminates with a big game against West Ham and we just felt that more opposition of that nature would put the boys in a good state. It's going to be a tough pre-season, but hopefully come the end of it, it will see us starting off quickly in the Championship.”

Vitesse finished 12th in the 18-team Eredivisie last season but could include some new and well-known faces at Carrow Road, having made inquiries for Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Roy Makaay as replacements for PSV-bound Danko Lazovic, their top scorer last season with 19 goals.

Vitesse technical manager Jan Streuer said: “We do not have something concrete right now, but we are thinking about Hasselbaink, just as we are thinking about Makaay. The only question is if we can afford to sign either of them.”

They are also close to signing Sun Xiang, the first Chinese to play in the Champions League.

Tickets for the Vitesse game go on sale to season ticket holders from 9am today. The upper tiers of both the Barclay, Norwich and Peterborough Stand and Norwich Union Community Stand will be closed for the match. Season ticket holders with seats in these areas will offered the chance to relocate to other areas.

Tickets go on general sale from Wednesday, June 27, and are also on sale at the Norwich City stand at the Royal Norfolk Show.

Under-16s can attend the game from £1, with adult tickets priced between £6 and £10.

Tickets for City's other home friendly, against West Ham on Tuesday, July 31 (7.45pm), go on general sale from June 25.

For further information or to buy tickets, call the ticket office on 0870 444 1902.

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