Seagulls in town for pre-season opener

Action from last summer's friendly between Hastings United and Brighton & Hove Albion at The Pilot Field
Action from last summer's friendly between Hastings United and Brighton & Hove Albion at The Pilot Field

Hastings United will kick-off their pre-season friendly programme at home to a Brighton & Hove Albion XI tonight (Tuesday).

Last year the Seagulls sent a first team squad to The Pilot Field for a warm-up game and this time around it’s set to be an under-21 and development centre squad. Kick-off is 7.45pm, and admission is £5 for adults and free for under-21s.

United player-manager Sean Ray said: “It’s nice to have it early. The Brighton game will be good to start getting their touch back and blow a few cobwebs out. It will be a chance to have a look at a few players as well.”

Ray is likely to use an 18-man squad and says one or two players will probably play 90 minutes given that five or six are already fit enough to comfortably complete a full game.

“It’s going really well,” Ray continued. “We’ve still got a few boys away, but when everybody’s back, we should be up to about 22. Fighting Tigers Gym have been brilliant; they’ve worked the boys extremely hard and the boys have taken to it very well. They’re looking super fit.”

Ray added that the friendlies against Brighton and a Gillingham XI (on Saturday July 27) also provide the chance to have a look at some of the opposition’s young players with a view to possible loan signings during the season itself.