Johnny Cantor: Players relax in different ways during off-season

Albion keeper David Stockdale Picture: Paul Hazlewood (BHAFC).
Albion keeper David Stockdale Picture: Paul Hazlewood (BHAFC).

The season is over, so now what do footballers get up to? Well, all sorts by the looks of things.

Most richly deserve a well-earned rest. Albion’s midfield dynamo Beram Kayal headed off to Majorca, Tomer Hemed went back to Israel judging by social media and Bruno is off to Spain for a month. Some are looking for new clubs of course, like Inigo Calderon and Gordon Greer. For others like Solly March there is time working hard on regaining fitness, while Jamie Murphy underwent minor surgery. This development may explain his absence from the first team towards the end of the season.

Some of course will be involved at the Euros in France, while some of us will have a keen interest from our sofa. As a reporter, I get the chance to move away from football, albeit for only two months.

This week I have been lucky enough to work at the PGA Championship golf at Wentworth. For the pro am day, as well as the stars of sport and television, like Sir Ian Botham and Anton Du Beke, there are of course (excuse the pun) many of the best golfers in Europe.

One player I have monitored over the years is Ross Fisher. He knows the course well and has shown what he is capable of on the biggest stage in his one appearance to date in the Ryder Cup. So who did he choose to have as his caddy on the West Course? Well, Albion goalkeeper David Stockdale.

The two of them are good friends and ‘Stocko’ was on good form. He admitted that he, like many of us, is still drained after such a promising season ended in heartache for the Seagulls – but he’s already looking ahead to the next campaign.

March and Murphy should be in line to feature in the July friendlies that have now been confirmed. I’m sure David will also be whipping up his team-mates for the start of August. He is an important character in the squad, and in particular in the dressing room. After the disappointment of May, he summed up nicely that it is good to take stock, but it’s also important to keep looking forward.

If you want to catch up with the interviews with him, or with Chris Hughton and Bruno on their new deals, just search our @BBCSussexSport Twitter feed for a listen in the summer sunshine before we do it all again in August.

Johnny Cantor covers Brighton & Hove Albion as a commentator and reporter for BBC Sussex Sport.

Follow all the action, home or away, on BBC Sussex Sport or Twitter: @BBCSussexSport or @johnnycburger

To read more by Johnny Cantor, visit www.johnnycantor.com

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