Brighton & Hove Albion’s newly appointed goalkeeping coach Ben Roberts says he feels like he has come home.
Despite the vast difference in the club he left as a player and the one he returns to as a coach, the former keeper is ecstatic to be back.
He told Seagulls PlayerHD, “It was an easy decision to make. Where I am at in my life now, I was delighted with the phone call to be honest. It has happened very quickly and the hardest decision was that my missus is about to give birth, so I just had to get the okay off her - but she knows my feelings for this club, so it was an easy choice in the end.
“My playing time at Brighton was too short, the year we got promoted, but it was the best of my career really; I felt at home here and we had a brilliant group of lads.
“It has changed a lot since then. It is now the club I think we all dreamed it would be; I am so impressed.
“I don’t think you can compare it. Back in the Withdean days you got what you were given, you took your kit home with you but we all loved it, it was other things that got you through; the camaraderie, the club and the city. Now when you look around at the infrastructure, it is Premier League.
“I have had nearly five great years at Charlton and I will always be grateful for that but I was in no doubt that now is the time to come back here. The vision for the club is exciting, it excites me, and everyone around here wants to get to the top level.
“We've got to get out of this Championship first though and it is a tough league; I have been in it for three seasons now and anyone can win it.”
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Roberts has been impressed by what he has heard of the goalkeepers’ union at the club, and he has highlighted how being united will get the Seagulls pushing for promotion.
“The dynamic is very important and straight away after talking to people about the Brighton keepers, I heard the dynamic here is very good. They all help each other out, get on well and drive each other on.
“It is something you get used to being a goalkeeper because being one myself, you get used to working in small groups, the banter, pushing each other on and supporting each other when things don’t go too well; it is a special bond really.
“Sticking together is vital in any successful team, the prime example being Burnley two years ago. They didn't have the biggest squad in the world and possibly not the most talented, but they were all together, hard to beat and you heard that from outside the place; so I believe that will be vital for everyone at Brighton this year.
“We definitely need togetherness because it is a long, hard season; Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday games, so we are all going to have to be pushing in the same direction.”