Tomer Hemed cannot wait for the start of the season after enjoying what he called a perfect summer.
Following the Seagulls’ promotion to the Premier League, Hemed became a father for the second time on June 20 when his second daughter, Emmy, was born.
The striker netted 14 times last season as Albion sealed a return to the top flight of English football for the first time in 34 years.
He reported back for pre-season training on Monday and said the timing of Emmy’s birth could not have been better: “It came at the right time because I was able to spend a few days with my wife and baby before returning to England.
“I had a few more days with the family, and now I am here, I can concentrate on pre-season.
“It was another amazing moment for me. We celebrated at the end of the season and then in the summer we had the baby, so it was a perfect summer for me. Now I am happy to be back and I am ready for the new season.”
Hemed is relishing the season-opener at home to Manchester City on August 12 but is also looking forward to the clashes with the red half of Manchester too, having supported United as a boy.
He said: “It’s a great start to get one of the biggest clubs and it will be amazing for the fans to start the season in that way.
“I am sure we will be ready. We have to be in the best-possible shape for these games. There will be an amazing atmosphere for this first game.
“It will be incredible when all the big teams comes to the Amex. I had it in Spain and I know what it’s like to play against some of the biggest teams in the world.
“We need to go and get points in these games and not just enjoy the atmosphere. It will be special playing against all the big teams, but Man United will be the most special games for me.”
Looking ahead to the new season, Hemed admits Brighton will need to be clinical in front of goal and said: “We know that in the Premier League we’re now one of the underdogs after being one of the favourites in the most of the games last season.
“We won’t have many chances and we have to be really clinical. We’ll have fewer chances than the last two years, so we’ll have to be ready for that.”
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