Leon Aderemi Balogun, Brighton Hove Albion of England summer signing, has labeled the squad of his new side a ‘nice group,’ following what he called a very warm reception from the players, coaches and officials.

As he settles down to his first feel of action in the English Premier League, the former SV Mainz of Germany stopper said he wants to hit the ground running in order to justify The Seagulls’ decision to take him up as a free agent.

He also played in the country of his birth, Germany with Fortuna Dusseldorf and SV Darmstadt, said he wants to be ready when Brighton face Watford away in their opening game of the new campaign. He pointed out that he is eager to step up his level of preparedness for the upcoming weeks, as he is looking forward to the start of the season with his new club on August 10.

He was beaming with enthusiasm after joining his new teammates for pre-season and is hoping to play a big role to bolster Brighton’s strength, after adding value to his career with outings for Nigeria at the World Cup in Russia.

The 30-year-old defender declared: “The EPL league starts very soon and between now and then, it’s about getting up to speed with everyone else as soon as possible. Then, I want to take it from there, but I’ll give everything I can to improve what this group already has and play the biggest role that I can for the team. I was really warmly received on my first day at the club and it’s a nice group. My first impressions were very positive, and I feel very comfortable within the group — they all made me feel welcome.”