Brighton & Hove Albion defender Lewis Dunk admits he still has to pinch himself at how far the club has progressed, after signing a new five-year deal today.
The 26-year-old committed his future to Albion until June 2023, and Dunk expressed his pride at featuring for his boyhood team in the Premier League.
He said, “I’m very pleased. I’ve been here since I was a little boy from the age of ten years old, so to commit to another five years to this fantastic club is an amazing feeling.
“It was such an easy decision; I’m here in my hometown playing football in the Premier League with these amazing fans behind us.
“I never thought I’d be lucky enough to train at a facility like this or play at the stadium we’ve got. It’s come a long way and I never thought it would be this good.
“You can see where the club has come from and I’ve grown up with it. It’s been an amazing experience so far, and hopefully it can keep getting better and we can cement ourselves as a Premier League team.”
The centre-back spoke about what he has learned from playing in the Premier League, and explained how much he’s relishing facing some of the best forwards in the game.
“You are always learning and it’s very different to playing in the Championship. You’re playing against top strikers every week and if you give them a chance to score, they’ll take it.
“Your concentration has to be much higher and the more games you play, the more you find out ways to stop them. I am enjoying it a lot.”
Dunk highlighted the club’s aims for the season ahead and also reiterated his dream to earn an England call-up during his next five years on the south coast.
“We need to focus on staying in the league again this season and build again in the summer. Hopefully we can establish ourselves in the division and see if we can sneak up into the top half of the table. You never know what could happen.
“My individual goal would be to get into the England team one day, but you don’t do that unless you’re performing well every week. If that comes one day, it will be a bonus and I’ll be very happy.”