Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Beram Kayal is delighted his friend and international team-mate Tomer Hemed has become part of Chris Hughton’s strike force.
The Israeli duo are old friends after graduating together through the academy at Maccabi Haifa, and even share the same birthday.
Now Kayal is backing the former Almeria hitman to continue his goalscoring record at the Amex.
Speaking on the team’s pre-season training camp in France, Kayal told seagulls.co.uk, “Tomer is a good lad who I've know since we were 13 or 14.
"We grew up together and went into the first team at Maccabi Haifa. I know him very well and he’s a good friend.
“After I left Maccabi we stayed in touch all of the time, especially on the 2nd May because it is our birthdays! Our families are also very close.
“It’s nice to have someone at the club who you have known for a long time because you can speak to him about things like family life and football.
“Most importantly, he has come here to help us and to be part of the football club.
“I will try to help him to settle in. He’s a striker who will work hard for the team, and we want him to bring goals.
“The manager and the recruitment team asked me about Tomer, and when I met up with him for the national team I spoke to him about the club.
“I told him it is a nice club, and I told him about the facilities at the training ground and the stadium.
“I explained about the things that made me feel welcome a few months before; everybody at the club gives you the best feeling and makes you feel part of the team, and the all the players are very nice as well.”
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Albion have completed a tough week of training at their Tignes base in the Alps, and now move onto to Geneva for the pre-season curtain-raiser at FC Meyrin on Saturday afternoon.
Kayal continued, “We will try to get the maximum from this game in terms of fitness, but also work together and help the new players to know what the gaffer wants from them.
“Of course you want everybody to be able to play, and we know that, but we’re enjoying working hard in pre-season and we want to be ready for the most important thing when the league starts.
“We have been working very hard, but are enjoying it at the same time. Sometimes we have started at seven o’clock in the morning , so there have been some early starts!
"You don’t get the chance to do that normally, but here in pre-season you can really work hard and improve your fitness.
“We have also had time to work with the gaffer on new ideas and of course when new players come in, you need to learn how they play. Sometimes we have been doing fitness work, other times we have been doing tactics.”