Albion's goalkeeper is looking forward to the opening game of the season.
Brighton & Hove Albion goalkeeper David Stockdale is relishing the prospect of facing Derby County on the opening day of the season.
The Seagulls take on the Rams at the iPro Stadium on Saturday 6th August and Albion’s shot-stopper expects Nigel Pearson’s side to be challenging at the top end of the table once again.
He told seagulls.co.uk, “It will be a tough first game; we started the past two seasons with home games and got off to a great start last year.
“There’s no better way to test ourselves than Derby first. It’s always been a good game at their place and I’m sure it will be the same again.
“They’re a great side and have got a good manager as well. They will be going for it again. It’s always a hard place to go, but it’s a great place to go.”
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Stockdale looked ahead to another eye-catching fixture in August, when Chris Hughton’s men end the month with a match against Newcastle United, ahead of a first-ever league meeting with Burton Albion in September.
“I was lucky enough to play at Newcastle when I was in the Premier League and it’s an awesome place. The fans are so passionate and it makes for a brilliant day.
“It’s somewhere for us to test our mettle in such a big place with passionate fans. It’s a ground and atmosphere worthy of the Premier League and they’re a club that’s looking to go straight back up.
“They’re all brilliant places to go to and I’m looking forward to playing Burton Albion, in terms of where they’ve come from being in the lower divisions. It’s great to see them in this league.”
The 31-year-old now says his immediate focus is returning to pre-season training ahead of the first friendly with Crawley on Saturday 16th July.
“We’re all excited whoever we play. We just want to get back and play our friendly games now.
“We can’t wait for the season to start and we don’t want to pick up any injuries between now and then.
“We’ll be raring to go and it’ll be nice to see everyone when we get back.”