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Glentoran and Brighton in Pre-Season
Glentoran and Brighton in Pre-Season
Friday, 16th May 2008 08:58

Town will play pre-season friendlies with Belfast side Glentoran and League One club Brighton and Hove Albion this summer. Boss Jim Magilton has been planning a game against a club from his home town for the last couple of seasons.

The Blues will face the Glens at their Oval ground on Saturday 19th July in a game which will be a testimonial for their captain Paul Leeman.

By the time Town travel to the Withdean Stadium on Tuesday 29th July (KO 7.45pm), Matt Richards could be a Seagulls player. The full-back or midfielder impressed during his time on loan with Albion this season and may join the Micky Adams's side permanently during the close season, although there could be Championship clubs interested in his signature.

Richards, who has a year left on his Town deal, was one of five players made available for transfer by boss Jim Magilton earlier in the week.

Away games at Bury Town on Wednesday 9th July, Brentford on Friday 11th July, Tiptree United on Thursday 24th July and AFC Sudbury on Tuesday 5th August have already been arranged.

Meanwhile, former goalkeeper-coach Malcolm Webster is reported to have spoken with the Blues about a return to his old role at Portman Road. Webster is currently with Southampton, having been taken there by former boss George Burley, but may be on his way out with new manager Nigel Pearson likely to bring in his own coaches over the summer.

On Monday, Town announced that Andy Rhodes would be leaving his position of goalkeeper-coach, having been with the club since 2004.

Elsewhere, chief executive Derek Bowden says the Blues are closing in on their new sponsor with SnOasis still in the running: "SnOasis are still interested, so it really depends if we sign another deal before they are able to press the go button. We do have a couple that we are close to and I would think within a couple of weeks we can make an announcement.

"That would either be more progress on SnOasis, given that they can't or won't commit before getting the final go-ahead, or one or two others.

"It would be nice to get as many as we can to the finishing line as we can and have a choice, but if it comes to the point where we get a firm offer and it is the right level of investment, then we will take it.”

Local insurance companies Axa and Willis and National Express are all reported to have decided against sponsoring the club after holding talks.

Other names linked with the role include Greene King, the Port of Felixstowe and Linguarama, an arm of the Marcus Evans Group. The latter seems less likely with Bowden telling TWTD earlier in the year that although an option, the club would prefer to look for sponsorship from outside companies.

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