The Spaniard looked back on the club’s 2015/16 season was speaking to My Albion TV in an exclusive catch-up call with Uwe Hunemeier on Sunday, and vividly recalled the defiant response to the play-off heartbreak against Sheffield Wednesday at the end of the campaign.
He said, “Brighton was taking little steps every year, I could feel the club progressing throughout my six-and-a-half years from the first time I arrived.
“Everything was about progressing sensibly. I still remember the second time we missed out on the play-offs. We all went into the training ground the following day and everyone was working normally and planning for the next season, it was a defiant message.
“We knew it was a matter of time [before we got promoted] and it impressed me so much. In Spain it would have been the opposite, but at Brighton it was about believing in the process and there were no dramatic changes.”
After missing out on promotion during the last game of the season against Middlesbrough at the Riverside, the club faced Sheffield Wednesday in the play-offs as a result.
Calde said, “It was tough going into those matches after missing out in the way that we did. We had to stand up and go again.
“We had so much go against us at such an important time. We’d finished 15 points ahead of them [Sheffield Wednesday] so it was tough to take – after 46 games the table doesn’t lie.
“The play-offs are different, anything can happen. Sometimes luck can go against you, and it certainly did that day.”
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Before the season began the Seagulls welcomed back legendary striker Bobby Zamora to the club from Queens Park Rangers.
The forward had scored 83 goals between 2000 and 2003 in his first spell with the club and Calderon praised the impact Zamora had both on and off the field during his return.
“Bobby had a special connection with the club. I remember that he was on the bench a couple of times and when he came on you could almost smell the fear in the opposition,” said Calde.
“He came off the bench a few times and you could feel the atmosphere changed on the field, you knew something was going to happen and he would always look to score.
“It was a privilege to train and live with him.”
The year will also be remembered for the Shoreham Air Disaster in August 2015, when 11 people lost their lives and 16 more were injured.
Seven days later, the club put on a moving and fitting tribute at the Amex against Hull City in memory of Albion fans Jacob Schilt and Matt Grimstone.
Calderon says that the grief felt by everyone at the club helped unite them for what was to follow during the season.
“We’re having similar sorts of problems worldwide at the moment and it all makes you stronger.
“It was really bad for the area and it affected a lot of people. We travelled through that area [where the crash happened] every day when we went to training and you couldn’t forget what happened there."