Carl Rushworth’s journey to becoming a full-time pro with Albion wasn’t the most straight forward. But things worth having rarely are.
He is back at the club after a productive spell with Worthing was cut short by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Rebels were top of the Isthmian League when the season was cut short but the enforced lay-off has given the 18-year-old time to reflect on his career so far.
He said, “It’s mainly rugby where I’m from in Yorkshire so at school me and my friends used to play football and that’s how I got into it.
“I was invited to a Sunday league team with my mates and it went from there. I started off as a midfielder then I got put in goal because I liked diving about - I used to play half a game in goal and half a game out on the field.
“It’s a different feeling playing in goal. I feel as though it’s a lot more important to be on your game all the time and I loved throwing myself around and trying to stop the ball going past me.
“From under-8s I really enjoyed playing in goal and not long after I got scouted for Huddersfield.
“I was at Huddersfield from the under-8s to age of 16 but I didn’t get offered a scholarship and that hit me quite hard. Up until then I had always felt like I was going to be offered another one with every year that went by.
“So, I went on trial at Rochdale, Chesterfield and Bradford. I didn’t get anywhere but Halifax were interested. It wasn’t as big a club, but they were happy to take me on.”
Rushworth signed for the Shaymen in August 2018 and having come through the club’s academy he trained with the first team during pre-season.
“I trained with Halifax’s youth team and at 16 I went to the first team for training,” he said. “I was really nervous before the first training session but once I got out there it began to feel normal and I relaxed.
“One of the other keepers who was in the youth team was in the first-team squad too, so although he was a year above me it was nice to have a familiar face. I knew I was going to be involved in the group and that was really enjoyable for me.
“The goalkeeping coach and the manager seemed to like me, and I began to realise that it could be something very serious for me in terms of a career.
“I played in the FA Youth Cup and went on trial with Manchester United and Arsenal but then Brighton came in and that felt like my best option, so I joined the club in January 2019.”
The second part of our exclusive interview with Carl Rushworth will be online tomorrow [Thursday], as he discusses his time with Worthing, Albion, England and more.