Gold Coast to host Fulham

New Hyundai A-League club Gold Coast United has confirmed it will host English Premier League outfit Fulham in a pre-season Friendly at Skilled Park on Wednesday July 8.

New Hyundai A-League club Gold Coast United has confirmed it will host English Premier League outfit Fulham in a pre-season Friendly at Skilled Park on Wednesday July 8.

The game will be the first of three for the English side, who will also travel to Melbourne and Perth on their tour of Australia.

Fulham will be based on the Gold Coast and manager Roy Hodgson believes the tour will provide his side with vital preparation ahead of next season's Premier League campaign.

"I know that the climate on the Gold Coast will help enormously with our planning for next season and we have an opportunity to play three teams of quality who I am sure will want to put on good performances against us, which of course is what one hopes will assist the team in both their personal preparations, but also of course collectively," Hodgson said.

Fulham is currently enjoying one of its most successful seasons, currently in ninth place with three matches to play and Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer has been one of the main reasons for its success.

Hodgson's men will arrive on the Gold Coast for a training camp from July 3rd and United coach Miron Bleiberg believes Fulham's desire to emulate their feats of this season will ensure a highly competitive encounter.

"Fulham are coming here to have a training camp and prepare for a Premiership campaign in which they hope to continue their improvement, so we can expect a very tough game. They're not coming here for a holiday, that's for sure," Bleiberg said.

"Everyone who loves football admires the English Premier League and it's very exciting for us to get the opportunity to play them as part of our preparations."

"Players and coaches always want to measure themselves against the best and this match will add another dimension to our pre-season."

Gold Coast chief executive Clive Mensink said hosting the Premiership side would give supporters the chance to see a marquee event at Skilled Park prior to the start of the A-League season.

"After much deliberation on whether to pursue an overseas club for a pre-season fixture at Skilled Park, we decided to go ahead in light of the fact that our first Hyundai A-League game is not at home," Mensink said.

"We think this is a great opportunity for the Gold Coast community to see some top class football action in their own back yard and it should whet everyone's appetite for the Hyundai A-League season that will follow soon after."

"Fulham are a very, very good side with top players and we are very excited about hosting them here."

Central Coast kicks of its A-League campaign in the season opener against defending champions Melbourne at Etihad Stadium on August 6.