Brighton & Hove Albion Senior Player Development coach Bruno says he always wanted to remain at the football club after hanging up his boots and ending his playing career at the end of last term.
The fans’ favourite has formed part of Graham potter’s backroom staff as the team reported back for pre-season recently, and he looked back on the send-off he has received since his final game at the Amex Stadium back in the middle of May.
He said, “The first week was crazy to see all the messages and I made a lot of phone calls, especially to my friends in Spain. The Manchester City game was on television over there and it was a crazy thing to see for them.
“Those things don’t happen over in Spain, so they were surprised to see a stadium with that sort of atmosphere for a send-off for a player.
“After that week I went to Belfast to do my coaching badges for a fortnight. It was a great experience and then I went back to Spain to see my family and friends.
“During those three or four weeks I talked to the club to find an agreement, I wanted to stay, and they wanted to still have me around too, so it was an easy and quick decision.”
The former full-back is now one of a number of retired players who have taken up coaching roles behind the scenes at the club, following in the footsteps of both Liam Rosenior and Steve Sidwell.
“I’m really happy because all I’ve wanted from day one is to help the club, we are really high but there is always a margin to improve,” he continued.
“Liam and Steve have done the same once they stopped playing. It’s important and to have them in the club is massive with their experience and knowledge.
“But for me above all else it’s so important that they care about the club, and they want to be there, that’s the main thing.”
At the start of next month one of Bruno’s former clubs visit the south coast in the side’s final game of pre-season before the 2019/20 campaign gets underway, he looked ahead to the occasion and spoke about a percentage of the gate receipts going to charities of his choice.
“It will be a great occasion, the friendlies at the Amex the week before the season starts always have been.
“We’ve played big teams in the last few years and I still remember my first match against Chelsea.
“It was a big game then and now we have Valencia, a side who have been in European finals and they’re a big club who hold a special place in my heart after the three years I spent there.
“It will be nice to see old friends and see another big club playing at the Amex. We’ll have a percentage of gate receipts going to charities of my choice and I’m really happy that the club have given me the chance to do this.
“I’m going to spread it amongst charities I’ve been working with: Chestnut Tree House, Common Goal and a couple of projects in Africa too, my intention is to try and help as many people as possible.”
Tickets for the game with Valencia at the Amex Stadium on Friday 2nd August, kick-off 7pm, are now on general sale – click here for more information.