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Club News


18 July 2016

Albion's under-18s had a unique pre-season trip.

Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-18 squad kicked off their pre-season preparations with a three-day visit to RAF Northolt, and underwent a unique mental and physical programme.

Albion’s players and coaching staff had sessions with personnel from across a wide range of sections at Northolt, including the aircrew of 32 (The Royal) Squadron, the Queen’s Colour Squadron of the RAF Regiment, The Central Band of the Royal Air Force and the Army’s 621 Explosive Ordnance Squadron. 

The visit covered a variety of tasks and activities, which included the RAF Regiment battle fitness assessment, a low ropes course and learning how to perform a perfect drill display with the Queen’s Colour Squadron.


Flight Sergeant Nick De-Long, in charge of RAF Northolt’s physical education, and head coach for UK Armed Forces football, was responsible for the visit.

He said, “This was a chance for us to engage with an elite sporting organisation and share best practice on ways our personnel can attain peak performance.

“We have learned as much from the Brighton players and coaching staff as they have learned from us. 

“The visit has been of immense value for both sides, and if the lessons learned help make each of us even one per cent better in our roles, these marginal gains over the course of a season, a detachment, or a career, can have a decisive effect of on our performance as an organisation.”

Albion’s under-18 coach, Ian Buckman, added, “As you’d expect, the visit has been tough work, but an ideal way to start our pre-season. 

“The first and second year youth scholars have been exposed to a range of experiences that they could not have received anywhere else – and they can use that to develop as players, but also grow as individuals – something the Brighton academy places equal emphasis on. 

“A big thank you to the hugely professional RAF Northolt team who have looked after us superbly and really put us through our paces.”

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