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First team

Ref watch: Friend in charge at Brighton


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Kevin Friend will take charge of AFC Bournemouth’s Premier League clash with Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.

Friend has been a member of the Select Group of referees since 2009/10 and has officiated more than 500 games in his career.

The 47-year-old was in the middle when the Cherries hosted the Seagulls in the third round of the EFL Cup in September 2017, with Joshua King’s goal settling the tie in extra-time.

Friend has taken charge of two Cherries games at Vitality Stadium this season – the 2-0 win over Cardiff on the opening day in August and the 1-0 defeat by Manchester City last month.

The Leicester-based official took up refereeing as a 14-year-old and worked his way up through local football and the Midlands leagues before taking charge of games in the Football League.

His most notable matches include the 2012 FA Community Shield between Manchester City and Chelsea and the 2013 Capital One Cup final between Swansea City and Bradford City.

Friend will be assisted at the Amex Stadium by Matthew Wilkes and Derek Eaton, while Stuart Attwell is fourth official.

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