I DID get rather over-excited by our brand new American Express Community Stadium last week after watching the Sussex Senior Cup in the very first game there. I didn’t get to tell of our new players.
First, in case you missed it, Kazenga LuaLua has been signed up. Gus Poyet finally got his man, from Newcastle, on a six-month loan deal with the chance to make it a permanent move next year.
LuaLua was always one of Poyet’s prime targets. He wanted to come and Brighton fans will be very pleased to have the electrifyingly fast winger back in blue and white. Gus said: “He will join us for our week away, which will be vital, and I am sure those travelling to support will be delighted to see him in a Brighton shirt once again.”
Albion are currently in Portugal playing and training. With the exciting Craig Noone and LuaLua Poyet will have great attacking options.
Next, Poyet has signed up defender Romain Vincelot from Dagenham & Redbridge. Frenchman Vincelot is a versatile player who can slot into midfield or play fullback. Gus said of Romain: “We need players who can play in different positions to give cover across the pitch and Romain provides that.”
Others coming into the frame include Finnish international Alexei Eremenko, an attack-minded midfielder currently with a Ukrainian club. Kenyan-born defender Curtis Osano from Rushden & Diamonds was looked at but now won’t be needed following Vincelot’s signing.
Two other trialists were Argentinean Raphael Branco and Frenchman Loic Damour. I think I will be able to name a full Albion team of 11 international players, i.e. non-English, especially if I can include both keepers, Ankergren and Brezovan, plus assistant manager Mauricio Taricco!
With the other confirmed new signings such as Craig Mackhail-Smith, Will Buckley, Will Hoskins and Roland Bergkamp, we are certainly going to have an exciting new side in our exciting new stadium.
Next week I can report how we beat Tottenham Hotspurs in the big first official opening game, with goals from Mackhail-Smith, Noone and LuaLua – I hope! And whilst at the Amex, there may be time to find my heritage stone in the Albion Legends walkway and try a pint of Albion Ale in the Supporters Bar. I’ll also be looking out for the grand Peter Ward themed mosaic. I’m there somewhere.