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Club News


23 August 2017

Bennett Dean
James Tilley in action against Barnet.

Brighton & Hove Albion under-23 forward expressed his happiness at scoring his first-ever senior goal in the side’s 1-0 victory over Barnet in the Carabao Cup last night.

The 19-year-old came off the bench to score the only goal of the game, and Tilley reflected on a proud night for him and his family, who were watching in the stands.

He said, “I knew that I was going to be involved a few days ago, so I’ve been training with the first team since then.

“I didn’t expect to come on as soon as I did and I had a few butterflies coming on, but obviously it was good to get a few minutes and score the goal.

“I saw the play build up down the left-hand side and I thought if I got to the back post then it might drop to me. Luckily it took a few deflections and dropped perfectly for me.

“My mum and dad were in the crowd, and it was brilliant for them to see that at the Amex.”

Tilley has worked his way through the ranks in the club’s academy and sees Solly March as an ideal role model in his quest to claim a regular place in the first-team squad.

“I signed here for the under-12s and then worked my way up to the under-23s, so I have been here for seven or eight years. I’ve been working hard through the age groups and got my opportunity.

“I just need to keep working hard every day in training and wait for the opportunity when it comes.

“Solly gives me someone to look up to, as someone who’s also been up through the ranks. Hopefully one day I can be like him as well.”

The forward also spoke about the words of encouragement he received from Chris Hughton following his first goal, and how he had to be patient to get further opportunities in the senior squad.

“He was delighted for me to score the goal and just told me to keep working hard on a few bits and pieces of my game. I need to step it up another level, and hopefully if I keep working hard in training, I’ll get another opportunity.

“When I made my debut [in 2015 v Middlesbrough], I was only 16, so I knew that I wasn’t going to be involved in the first-team regularly.

“I just knew that if I kept my head down and worked hard, then another opportunity would come eventually."

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