The new under-23 goalkeeper speaks after moving from Reading.
New Brighton & Hove Albion under-23 goalkeeper Billy Collings is delighted to move closer to home and join the team he supports, just four years after being a season-ticket holder at the Amex.
The 19-year-old has moved from Reading on a deal until the end of the season, and Collings showed his happiness at signing for the Seagulls, after spending three years with the Royals.
He said, “Being away from home, if a move came up to go to Brighton, that was always an ideal situation. So obviously when I heard about this, it was something I wanted to take straight away.
“I’m from Coldean in Brighton, I went to Lewes Priory school. I used to have a season ticket down here, but I wasn’t able to come and see games when I was at Reading.
“It means a lot to me playing for Brighton, it’s a great feeling. Being close to home and playing for the team I support, it’s really good.
“I’ve also got a few mates here at the club; I know Tom Cadman, George Cox and a few others, I grew up playing with them when I was younger.”
Collings has joined up with Simon Rusk’s under-23 squad to add competition between the goalposts, and the Sussex-born shot-stopper spoke about how the move became an option.
“I’ve been at Reading for three years and one of the coaches [Shannon Ruth] that I’d worked with for a few years down there, left to come down to Brighton.
“Obviously I stayed at Reading and worked with the new coach for a bit, and then heard about the chance of coming to play down here.
“My contract was running out at Reading and I thought it would be a good opportunity; I’m closer to home now and have the chance of working with the coach that I’d been with for a few years.
“They were happy to let me come down and knew it was a big opportunity for me. Game time was limited there, so hopefully I can start playing more games with this club.”
Although Collings was keen on playing for the Seagulls from a young age, he revealed how Reading gave him his first break, and expressed his desire to remain on the south coast beyond this season.
“Reading made an offer to me and I signed there as a scholar. I spent three years there and had a lot of loan moves, which I gained a lot of experience from.
“But now I’m at Brighton, the aim is to work hard and get another contract at the end of the season. I want to push for a place in the under-23 team.”