Brighton eye friendlies to prepare for restart


London (AFP) – Brighton are considering playing friendlies to prepare their team for the return of the Premier League.

Top-flight clubs have agreed a provisional restart date of June 17 after the season was postponed in March due to the coronavirus.

With players now back in training, Brighton chief executive Paul Barber revealed on Friday that his relegation-threatened club may play friendlies as a way of building match fitness.

“We felt that the June 20 date was a more comfortable day from a playing perspective in terms of giving the players a decent amount of time to return to contact training,” Barber said. 

“So, yes, we were very much in favour of that date. I mean obviously you’ve got to put a stake in the ground somewhere and aim for a particular point in time and we feel that that’s a reasonable point in time to aim for.

“Our players are keen to go, our coaches are happy, our medical staff are happy so we’re very much looking forward to it.”

Asked if Brighton are looking at setting up any sort of friendlies for the squad ahead of the restart, Barber said: “Well, we’re certainly going to look to see what we can do to sort of build-up that level of match fitness and obviously we need to work within the government and Premier League guidelines on what’s possible.

“But certainly that’s one of the considerations, for sure.”

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