Brighton & Hove Albion pathway development manager David Weir highlighted the importance of providing a link between the club’s first team and under-23 side, as a number of players continue to experience regular senior football elsewhere.
The Scotsman arrived at the club in July and has worked to support numerous Albion players who are currently enjoying loan spells across the EFL and abroad.
He said, “We’re hopefully establishing ourselves as a Premier League club and the under-23 team is doing well, but there’s still a gap between those two teams.
“We’re trying to bridge that gap and have something in between that enables the younger players at the club to get into the first team.
“Players that we bring into the club that perhaps aren’t quite ready for the first team at that moment, we want to give them a chance to adapt and make themselves ready for that jump.
“We understand not everyone is going to make it into Brighton’s first team, even though that’s the ideal scenario, but it’s about producing the best possible footballers we can from the ones that come into the club.
“My role is to try and make that happen as much as I can. I’ll try to provide a platform that gives them the opportunity to do that.
“Obviously players have got to do that themselves as well, but as a football club we have to try and put in place the processes and building blocks that give them the best possible chance.”
Numerous players are currently plying their trade away from the south coast, and Weir gave an update on some of the positive moves that are already reaping awards just a few months into the season.
“If you look at Christian Walton, he’s had a few loans now and has done really well in League Two, League One and now he’s doing well in the Championship and showing great progression.
“Robert Sanchez is another goalkeeper and he’s having his first loan at Forest Green Rovers — he’s at a different stage but also doing well.
“Steven Alzate came in from Leyton Orient, played in the under-23s and is now performing well in League Two with Swindon Town.
“Percy Tau came in over the summer and he’s playing for Union St Gilloise in Belgium, which is a club that Tony Bloom owns — he’s making a good impression over there.
“Dan Burn, who’s looking to return in January, has just started playing after an injury and that’s another variation. Tomer Hemed and Richie Towell are also playing well for clubs in the Championship.
“There’s a wide variety of players who are out and developing in one way or another. I’m sure that will change again in January when hopefully some of the younger players, who have been doing well for Simon Rusk’s team, will possibly get a loan move.”