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Rusk On Albion's Soccer Sevens Debut

By Kieran Cleeves • 18 May 2018

Brighton & Hove Albion under-23 coach Simon Rusk believes his ten-man squad participating in this weekend’s HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens tournament in Hong Kong can benefit from the experience of stepping into the unknown.

The Seagulls take part in the annual tournament for the very first time - following their promotion from the Premier League 2 Division 2 - and Rusk highlighted the tournament as an exciting way to conclude a positive season for his team.

He said, “We’ve had the Sussex Senior Cup Final, the Play-Off Final at Villa Park and then obviously we fly out to Hong Kong. It’s a great end to the season and these are the situations we wanted to be in.

“Travelling the world and playing in tournaments abroad, you can’t not look forward to that really.

“It’s not Europe we’re going into - most academy players, in this day and age, are well travelled, whether they’re a British player or from overseas.

“But this is a little bit different. It’s Hong Kong, it’s a long distance away and it will be a different culture and environment to what they’re used to.

“The experience can be very beneficial for the players and it’s something that we’re looking forward to.”

The seven-a-side tournament takes place at Hong Kong Football Club over the coming weekend, and Rusk identified the areas in which he believes may be important when playing the smaller format of the game.

“I think we’ll need a decent amount of one-v-one capability. Different types of transitions will also be important.

“If I’m being brutally honest, I’ve watched footage of the games, and it might be a case of adjusting to the circumstances once we’re out there.

“A level of athleticism will certainly come into play - so the balance is similar to what you would need in 11-v-11 football.

“The time scale of the game - two seven-and-a-half minute periods - is also quite an intense situation to find yourself in.”

“I’m intrigued and excited to tackle the games head on once we are out there - certainly from a tactical point of view.”

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