Monday Briefing: July 8th

By SFC Media Mon 08 Jul Club
Photo by Matt Watson | Southampton FC

Catch up with the latest from around Southampton Football Club, as a new week begins...

Players set off for Austria

After beginning their pre-season programme at Staplewood Campus last week, Saints are head for Austria today, basing themselves in the Montafon region, on the western edge of the country.

The club, which visited the same destination in 2017, will finish off the camp with a friendly match against Austrian Bundesliga side SCR Altach, at the Cashpoint Arena, in Altach, on July 14th, with kick-off at 3pm local time (2pm UK time).

The week-long trip will form a key pillar of the work conducted by Ralph Hasenhüttl and his staff ahead of the new season.

The squad will then return to Staplewood Campus for another week, before making a short visit to Macau, from Sunday 21st July until Wednesday 24th July, where a Southampton XI will take on Chinese Super League side Guangzhou R&F on Tuesday 23rd July at the Estádio Campo Desportivo with an 8pm kick off local time (1pm UK time).

The remainder of the first-team squad will simultaneously head to Dublin for a training camp between Monday 22nd July and Friday 26th July, before finishing their preparations ahead of the Premier League campaign beginning on the weekend of Saturday 10th August.

Djenepo in AFCON last 16

Summer signing Moussa Djenepo will look to continue his Egyptian adventure in the African Cup of Nations when his Mali side take on Ivory Coast at 5pm BST.

The Eagles comfortably secured top spot in a group containing Tunisia, Angola and Mauritania but will face a much sterner test against the two-time winners in Suez. The winner will go on to meet Algeria in the quarter-finals.

Saints’ other representative at the tournament, Sofiane Boufal, missed a decisive kick in the penalty shootout as Morocco were eliminated by surprise-package Benin.

The winger gave the Atlas Lions a considerable boost from the bench as the tie went to extra-time following a 1-1 draw but their composure was lacking when it counted, the unfancied West African nation going through 4-1 on penalties.

Academy youngsters secure fresh deals

Four Academy prospects, Nathan Tella, Dan N'Lundulu, Oludare Olufunwa and Kieran Freeman have all put pen to paper on fresh terms at the club.

Forward pairing Tella and N'Lundulu have signed one-year contract extensions, extending their stay at St Mary's until June 2020.

Young full-back Olufunwa has agreed terms on his first professional deal, which also runs until summer 2020, while Freeman has completed an initial six-month extension, running until December 2019.

Tella and N'Lundulu both played their part in last season's Under-23s success, including Premier League 2 promotion and a semi-final appearance in the Premier League International Cup.

Striker N'Lundulu, who missed the first half of the season due to injury, scored the crucial opening goal in the Under-23s' PL2 play-off final victory over Newcastle United in May, and his since earned the chance to train under first-team manager Ralph Hasenhüttl.

Freeman, who swapped Dundee United for Saints back in 2016, has been offered a further six months to continue his development at Staplewood Campus after missing last season through injury.

Academy Manager Matt Hale commented: "These contracts have been awarded on the basis that all four players have high potential.

"Dan and Nathan have both earned a second professional deal after expressing their talent over the past two seasons; we have real belief in their ability.

"Dare has graduated from our scholarship programme, and while only still 17, he is another exciting young prospect. 

"Kieran has had an unfortunate few years since his arrival from Dundee but represents a talented youngster who will get our support to get his career up and running."

Two Saints home fixtures moved for TV coverage

Southampton’s Premier League home fixtures against Manchester United and AFC Bournemouth have both been selected for TV coverage.

The game against Manchester United will now be shown live on BT Sport and will still take place on Saturday 31st August, with an earlier kick-off time of 12.30pm BST.

In September, Saints’ home meeting with AFC Bournemouth has now moved to Friday 20th September at 8pm BST, having previously been scheduled to take place on Saturday 21st September at 3pm, and will be shown live on Sky Sports.

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