Albion's under-23 coach assesed the challenge ahead for his squad.
Brighton & Hove Albion under-23s coach Simon Rusk believes his players should seize the opportunity of playing for a Premier League club, after the first team gained promotion to the top flight of English football.
Rusk admits the challenge of breaking into Albion’s first team will become harder because of their new-found status, but feels the heightened challenge should provide his players with a huge incentive to achieve success.
He said, “It’s definitely a problem you want as a player. You want to aspire to be the best you can be, playing at the highest level, and in our case that’s the Premier League.
“If you’re an under-23 player, it shouldn’t dampen your ambition, desire or belief. Ultimately, it depends on how the individual views it.
“Does it make it more challenging? Yes it does. The Premier League is a different animal to the Championship at the end of the day, and if our players want to get into the first-team, they’ll have to meet the bar that goes up.
“But from my point of view, it’s an amazing challenge to put down in front of the lads.”
A number of Albion’s under-23 squad have enjoyed loan spells throughout the season, and Rusk commented on the productivity of these moves, as they continue their development away from the Seagulls.
“There comes a time where it does become beneficial for an individual to go on loan, and the loans we’ve had have been positive.
“Jordan [Maguire-Drew] has had a season-long loan at Dagenham, which has proven fruitful for him. Tom Dallison had a taste of it at Cambridge and obviously Christian [Walton] has had a very good loan spell at Luton, and at Southend.
“We’ve also utilised the local non-league clubs to expose our players to something different. So it’s every bit as valuable as players playing in-house here.
“The loan moves for the younger players have been productive ones, and have definitely served a purpose.”
You can read the full interview with Simon Rusk in the souvenir Bristol City edition of Seagull, priced at £5, and available online atseagullsdirect.co.uk.