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Club News


16 July 2018

Kieran Cleeves
Albion under-23 coach Simon Rusk in Portugal.

Brighton & Hove Albion under-23 coach Simon Rusk was delighted with his team’s pre-season training camp in Portugal, but insists there is plenty of work remaining ahead of the Premier League 2 Division 1 season.

The Seagulls spent four days training before coming up against SC Braga B in their opening friendly of the season, and Rusk praised the application his players showed throughout their time in Portugal.

He said, “It was a really good week. The facility was good and the boys applied themselves excellently in training. It was quite a tough schedule, as pre-season always is.

“The main aim of the week was to get good training minutes for everyone, and get everyone at least 45 minutes of competitive action against Braga.

“Your training programme is always important. I think the players will take a lot from this week, and they certainly got to know each other better as a group.

“We’ve got a couple of new faces, some players have come in and some players have gone out. Some have come up from the under-18s, so it was good to spend some time together.

“It was great to nail down one or two things that we believe will be important over the course of the season.”

Albion visited the north of Portugal for their training camp, and Rusk commented on the benefits of having a brief change of environment, as his players prepare for the upcoming campaign.

“We’ve got an unbelievable environment that we train in anyway, but culturally it’s always good to go away.

“We had four of the under-18 players come away with us and it was a great experience for them.

“It’s always interesting to see how players adapt to a different environment, even though the weather sounds like it was hotter in England.

“The players had different surroundings and training times during the day, and I have to say the approach from the players throughout the week was excellent.”

Rusk’s team will now tackle the remainder of their pre-season schedule, and the Albion coach believes his players will be keen to make an impression ahead of their debut season in the Premier League 2 Division 1.

“It’s very early days and the players are still working on their fitness levels. The priority this week was to make sure nobody picked up any injuries.

“There’s a long season ahead. We’ve got a game against Bognor on Tuesday night, which we’re looking forward to.

“It’s about the players getting into the best condition possible to perform well throughout the season.

“We have lots of games to look forward to and the players will be looking to grasp their opportunity to stake a claim for the start of the season.”

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