Brighton’s Julio Enciso, Simon Adingra, Jan Paul van Hecke catch the eye

Perhaps from an anticipation standpoint, not all of them snuggled into the bottom corner wasn’t a bad thing.

That said, that free-kick early in the first half of a low-key friendly at Lancing.

Julio Enciso has done enough to suggest that he can be a very confident, accomplished, and even combative to some extent, addition to Albion’s plans.

He showed that in a lively 45 minutes during the goalless friendly against Royale Union St-Gilloise.

And let’s be honest, his performance was the main interest for everyone watching the live stream, be it the die-hard Albions or the many Enciso fans in Paraguay who were seeing the Seagulls for the first time.

He worked his way off Danny Welbeck, dropping low, getting on the ball and trying to pass.

He didn’t shy away from physical combat, although former Portsmouth giant Christian Burgess was a little too strong for him on a couple of occasions.

Somehow, Enciso in person — still only 18 years old — looked bigger, stronger, and older than the photos and videos we’ve seen.

He was involved in the press and probably understood some of the instructions beginning with “Julio,…”. yelled across the training ground by teammates and coaches.

And the confidence has been shown on a couple of occasions.

First when, after helping a toe back to the ball, he ran towards goal, decided against feeding Welbeck or one or the other and was hoping for a pass, and with one shot let the Burgess fly athletically blocked.

And then at THAT moment – ​​having been flattened just outside the box, roughly level with the left post.

Enciso curled his free-kick past the wall and it went into the bottom corner before Anthony Moris dived over to parry it.

A curious little thing when he stubbornly prevented an opponent from stealing a few meters from a free kick rounded the whole thing off nicely.

So far, so good. And that very early.

The challenges ahead will be greater than St-Gilloise’s, although they were a decent opponent.

Enciso’s many fans in Paraguay will expect him to play at Old Trafford in four weeks time and that may not happen.

But we’ve seen enough to suggest that Albion has something to work with – and someone who isn’t as raw as one might have thought.

USG once went 60 games unbeaten and wore a blue and yellow jersey.

Aside from that striking difference, however, these two clubs have something in common, certainly as they reach heights their fans thought impossible until recently.

Of course there are off-field connections, including three players who joined Brighton from Belgium this summer.

Deniz Undav was kept fairly quiet by his old pals as he supported Neal Maupay in attack in the second half in Albion’s eleven.

USG players applauded their former top scorer at the end.

It was actually an XII in the back 45 for Albion, with Kacper Kozlowski, who was also with USG last season, walking off injured. Teddy Jenks took his place.

And Kaoru Mitoma was still absent as he was one of several players still returning from international duty.

Simon Adingra was enjoying a second outing for USG since being loaned out by the Seagulls and he showed himself very well.

The Ivorian, who played down the left of attack, put up a good fight with Odel Offiah and his cleverly placed cross deserved more than a Bart Nieuwkoop header.

On one occasion Adingra escaped the back three of Offiah, Matt Clarke and Lewis Dunk before Clarke came back to get a foot in.

The danger wasn’t over yet, but Dunk recovered to deflect Dante Vanzeir’s follow-up shot just over the bar.

There were few chances to score, but that doesn’t matter at this stage.

USG is a bit further with the preparations.

This was their fourth game and some of their players stayed on well into the second half.

They didn’t bother second-half goalkeeper Kjell Scherpen too much, although he blocked a Cameron Puertas shot.

For Albion, Adam Webster saw a header from a corner that was blocked either by the post or by keeper Moris right in his bottom corner.

Another set piece saw the keeper denied by Maupay and a free-kick drilled under the wall by skipper Pascal Gross in the second half was saved by the keeper after being slightly deflected.

It was competitive – and pointed in the end.

Maupay and Steven Alzate were both cautioned for fouls and formerly faced giant defender Ross Sykes in the end.

The Frenchman felt he had been caught dangerously by Sykes’ chase as he slid inside to stop a pass and argued long and hard with his opponent and then referee Keith Stroud before his team-mates intervened.

USG’s one yellow card seemed to have come from complaints about some early tackles from Jan Paul van Hecke as he continued in the middle of the back three in the second half.

Certainly fierce and adept on the ball, Van Hecke looked the part after loans from Heerenveen and Blackburn and will certainly be ready for the rigors of the Prem should he win the bid.

Another new face in Albion colors that made a positive impression.

He was caught once, at the very end when Dennis Eckert Ayensa jumped away from him too easily and headed towards the Albion box.

That danger ended when right-back Joel Veltman came over and made a timely tackle.

No fuss from Veltman, no problem. Work done quietly and effectively.

New season but some things don’t change. Brighton’s Julio Enciso, Simon Adingra, Jan Paul van Hecke catch the eye

Fry Electronics Team

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