Brighton & Hove Albion bring a young squad to the Kuflink Stadium on a rare Friday night football event as the curtain comes down on Fleet’s pre-season schedule.
Unbeaten through five friendlies so far in July, the final warm-up game (and it’s certainly likely to be warm) presents Garry Hill with an opportunity to field what he considers to be his likely starting eleven v FC Halifax Town… and/or take a last look at hopeful trialists.
Tomi Adeloye and Alfie Egan are the last two trialists standing from the summer’s list of hopefuls while Hill also casts his net farther afield for those missing pieces of the 2019/20 jigsaw.
Brighton’s squad is likely to be made up largely of U23s and their manager Simon Rusk has some history on our ground, being the first player to score against the newly renamed Ebbsfleet United when he played for Northwich Victoria.
Should it be the bulk of Brighton’s U23s in attendance, they are likely to represent a stiffer test than Tottenham having finished third in the Premier League 2 last season, only one year after being promoted.
They have beaten both Crawley Town and Merstham by 1-0 and drawn 0-0 at Hastings this month already, while also spending a week on pre-season training camp in Portugal.
A couple of the Seagulls’ U23s have recently departed on loan, Viktor Gyokeres and Leo Ostigard to German side St Pauli while goalkeeper Robert Sanchez is spending a season with Rochdale and midfielder Jayson Molumby has signed for Millwall.
Irish U21 international Aaron Connolly is the nearest to a first-team breakthrough in the U23 squad currently; Ryan Longman is a prospect recently promoted from the U18s; while Max Sanders and Steven Alzate have trained with the Seagulls’ Premier League squad this summer.
Brighton previously visited us in August 2013 when Steve Brown’s new-look side won 3-0 courtesy of a Billy Bricknell hat-trick.
There is reduced admission of £10/£7/£5/£1 (adults, concessions, juniors and U12s) for this friendly and please note the kick-off time is 7.30pm, not 7.45pm. The hospitality lounge in the Main Stand is open to all supporters (you will need to exit the lounge and return to the turnstiles to gain admission) as is the bar in the Fleet Social Club. Car-parking is available at Ebbsfleet International Car Park C for £3 and we would respectfully ask supporters not to block residences or business around the ground. There is also a risk of cars being ticketed on Thames Way on the approach to the ground before the roundabout. A 48-page matchday programme covering all three home friendlies is on sale for £2.50.