Hemed following his heart to Premier League
FOOTBALL TOMER Hemed registered his 10th Championship goal of the season in Brighton’s 1-1 draw against Ipswich.
The Israeli striker has hit a purple patch in the team’s pursuit of Premier League football next season and Tuesday’s effort was his sixth goal in the last five league matches. He has scored eight goals this year.
Yet Hemed only netted twice in the first four months of the season and spent most of the time on the bench. “I was injured for three games and couldn’t win back my place,” he said.
“The team was on an 18-match unbeaten run and the manager understandably did not want to drop strikers who were scoring goals. I knew I needed to be patient and work hard in training but I took my chance when it came.” Hemed revealed in addition to an offer from Maccabi Tel Aviv last summer, he has also been offered a lucrative move to China.
“I could earn more money in China or even Israel but that’s not my priority,” he said. “I’m focused on getting to play in the Premier League with Brighton.”
He was glad to see team-mate and fellow Israel international Beram Kayal return from an ankle injury. “We’re great friends on and off the pitch and it’s important he is back.” Hemed, who turns 30 in May, joined Brighton in 2015 on a threeyear deal after playing in La Liga. With his impressive goal-scoring record this year, he is also hoping for a national team recall ahead Israel’s crucial World Cup qualifier in Spain next month.