Representatives from the American side will be at tonight's game.
Brighton & Hove Albion extend a warm welcome to Seacoast United Soccer Club, who are watching tonight’s game against Newcastle United as part of their latest tour to Sussex.
Founded in 1992 and with approximately 7,000 playing members, Seacoast United are a well-established community, focused across four three states in America: Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, all located in New England.
This is the third time Seacoast teams have come to Sussex in the past two years to play Albion and AITC boys’ and girls’ teams, amongst other local sides, in the past two years – further cementing the exclusive partnership that has been built up between both clubs in recent years.
Indeed, this close relationship with the club provides Albion with an opportunity to scout players on the east coast of the USA in talent ID camps, educate and develop coaches at both clubs, provide tours and competitions, and further both clubs’ partnerships with Nike.
Albion chief executive, Paul Barber, commented: “We are delighted to welcome the young players, coaches and officials – including founder and chief executive, Paul Willis – from Seacoast United to Brighton and to the American Express Community Stadium for tonight’s game.
“We have got to know Seacoast United very well over the past couple of years and we are looking forward to developing an exciting and mutually beneficial partnership with one of the biggest youth football clubs in the United States.”
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Willis, who is originally from tonight’s visitors Newcastle, added: “All of us at Seacoast United are delighted to partner with such a progressive club like Brighton and one that gets it right on and off the field. The benefits will help everyone involved in terms of player development, identifying talent, furthering the name of Brighton & Hove Albion, while we’re also excited to work with the coaches and management at the club.
“As soccer continues to grow in America, the standards have improved at all levels and so has the interest in the international game, particularly in England. Seacoast United has enjoyed a 21-year relationship with Nike and thanks to their involvement with Brighton & Hove Albion over the last few years, so began the relationship between both clubs.
“SUSC has sent teams over from the States with the help of Sports Tours Europe, Nike and Brighton & Hove Albion in each of the last two summers and on Thursday our 2002 and 2003 Academy teams arrived for just over a week to train with Brighton’s Academy coaches, play against Albion, Crystal Palace and Bournemouth, as well as take in both the Reading and Newcastle United matches.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for them to learn and gain experience as to what it takes to become a professional footballer.”
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