Three-Goal Sharp Off And Running

By SFC Media Thu 19 Jul Club

Saints striker Billy Sharp was happy to get off the mark for pre-season after his hat-trick against Étoile Carouge.

Sharp was a second-half substitute at the swelteringly-hot Stade de la Fontenette, and helped his side overturn a half-time deficit with a trio of well-taken strikes.

"It was good to get another 45 minutes under my belt, and I thought we did well in the second half," he told Saints Player after the game.

"It's pretty hard in the heat but after about 20 minutes I thought we got into our strides - and I managed to get a few goals as well.

"Every goal means something to me, so it was nice to get three. Obviously pre-season is about fitness, but it's good to get goals as well.

"I don't do particularly well in pre-seasons in the past, but it's nice to get goals in any game - it's what I love doing."

Saints' leveller came through 17-year-old Luke Shaw, while fellow youngsters James Ward-Prowse and Calum Chambers had a hand in all three of Sharp's goals.

And the striker is impressed by the maturity shown by the group of Academy products promoted to the First Team for the coming season.

"I still class myself as one of the younger ones here, but some of them are nine years younger than me!" he remarked.

"They have a lot of potential, so if they keep doing what they have been doing in the last couple of weeks then they have great futures ahead of them.

"They are all good lads - one of the hardest parts [of football] is settling in with a group of professionals who have had a couple of good years' experience and getting over that.

"They are full of energy and they've got a lot of ability between them."

This evening's match rounded off the squad's third full day of their training camp in Évian-les-Bains, and Sharp is impressed with how things are going - especially the sunny weather!

"It's a lot better than England!" he said.

"The sun is out and all the lads are together - it's a close-knit group anyway, so for the lads to be together and working hard in the sunshine makes it that little bit more special.

"And it's a lovely hotel - we are all together, the food is brilliant.

"We've had two games now, so 45 minutes each in each game, and have another one on Saturday so hopefully we can keep getting fitter and keep putting on good performances."

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