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BARRY EXCITED FOR ALBION RETURN

9 September 2017

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Gareth Barry

Gareth Barry revealed his excitement ahead of this weekend’s clash with Brighton & Hove Albion, as the West Bromwich Albion midfielder returns to face the club he left as a schoolboy over 20 years ago.

The 36-year-old, who is three games away from making more Premier League appearances than any player in history, will come up against the Seagulls for the very first time since leaving the cliub.

He said, “I’m looking forward to it. It’s a fixture I’ve always wanted to happen since I left, it’s just never really happened. But now is probably the perfect time to play them, in the Premier League.

“I’ve always hoped to play them in a cup draw over the past 20-odd years but it’s never happened, so it’ll be good to go back there.”

“Yeah I have [been impressed]. They went close to promotion a few years previously, just missing out the season before last.

“They’ve built a really good foundation there now and they’re a solid club - so hopefully they can keep their place in the Premier League.”

Barry made almost 400 appearances for Aston Villa after leaving the Seagulls in 1997,and but the midfielder spoke fondly about his time in Sussex.

“Going right back to when they were playing at The Goldstone, I’d get free tickets as a schoolboy.

“I’d drive up from Hastings to watch the game, train at Eastbourne and train at Seaford, playing the games in Brighton. I’ve got good memories as a schoolboy.”

“Michael Standing and I left together when we both joined Villa. We were both at Brighton as schoolboys and he still lives down that way - I’m still good friends with him.”

Albion’s meeting with the Baggies will be the first since 1993,  and Barry believes his team are in store for a difficult game at the Amex.

“Any team that has been promoted is a tough game, especially when you are playing them away from home.

“Their home record was good in the Championship so they’ll be looking to continue that in the Premier League. We’ll be expecting a tough game.”


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