Brighton & Hove Albion under-23 coach Simon Rusk was delighted to see a number of players from his squad have involvement in Chris Hughton’s first-team group throughout the 2017/18 season.
A handful of under-23 players either featured or had involvement in Albion’s first-team squad in various competitions, and Rusk highlighted the positive message this sent out across the club’s academy.
“His call-up also resonated with the rest of the squad and beyond, because they can see that if you work hard and are performing well, there is that gateway to the first-team squad.
“It only takes an injury or a suspension and you may well get a chance, which is what happened to Max.
“Chris and his staff are always watching, always kept informed of how our younger players are developing, and hopefully we will continue to see players making that step-up to what is now a Premier League squad.”
Rusk went on to speak about his relationship with Albion’s first-team coaching staff, and the importance of having a high level of communication throughout the club.
“You hear it a lot at this club but Chris [Hughton] really is a great person to work for. Day to day we have very good lines of communication with Chris, Paul Trollope and Paul Nevin.
“That’s important given there are players from the first-team squad who occasionally train with us and, likewise, there are players that Chris will want to take a look at from our group.
“It’s a healthy relationship and one we are very appreciative of.”
Aside from their performances on the pitch, Rusk commented on the excellent support the academy’s players receive off the field, as they continue their progression as both footballers and people.
“We try to prepare them for a long-term career in football and long-term life standards – and we’re fortunate that we have an excellent support staff to help them achieve those aims.
“I’m the coach, the focal point I suppose, but we have fantastic sports scientists, physios, player liaison staff, academy support staff, and everyone plays their part.
“It’s a real team effort and any success we have on the pitch is a reflection of all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes.”