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Page last updated at 11:38 GMT, Wednesday, 13 July 2011 12:38 UK

Brighton coach Charlie Oatway plays down Amex opener

Gus Poyet and Charlie Oatway
Oatway (r) played over 220 games for the Albion in an eight-year spell

Brighton coach Charlie Oatway hopes his players will not be over-awed when they step out infront of 10,000 fans in the first game at the club's new stadium.

Albion's reserves face Eastbourne Borough in the final of the Sussex Senior Cup at the Amex on Saturday.

First-team coach Oatway told BBC Sussex: "I may have to worry about the nerves of the players.

"It's a fantastic thing but it's all about preparing the players for the start of the season."

The 37-year-old added: "The cup is part of our pre-season so for me it's just another game.

"But the ground is in a league of its own. I'm very fortunate to everyone to employ me in the job that I do to be part of that."

The club has spent the last 12 years at the Withdean athletics stadium, with a capacity of 8,850, which was not always a happy home for Seagulls supporters.

They have been without a permanent home since leaving the Goldstone Ground in 1997 after which they spent two seasons ground-sharing with Gillingham.

The opening of the much-anticipated new home near Falmer has seen all 10,000 tickets for Saturday's game sell out and the opening first-team fixture against Tottenham on 30 July will bring a limited capacity attendance of 17,000.

Oatway knows some of his reserve-team players may need to be pacified in the face of so many supporters.

"I need to make sure they do things right, because once they see bundles of fans they think they have to show they are Maradona," he continued.

"I understand that because we've all been there."

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see also
Brighton announce first Amex game
08 Feb 11 |  Brighton
Oatway looking for Brighton spark
04 Nov 09 |  Brighton
Seagulls chairman to fund stadium
18 May 09 |  Sussex
Brighton's Oatway forced to quit
03 Aug 07 |  Brighton

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