Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Alireza Jahanbakhsh was delighted to meet young Seagulls fans at yesterday’s signing session at the Amex Stadium.
More than 450 supporters took part in the event which saw ten first team and women’s team players sign autographs and pose for pictures during the October half-term, and the midfielder enjoyed the afternoon.
He said, “It was very nice, and I always like to meet the young supporters because they’re the future of the football club.
“When they come to events like this and show their support, it’s always nice because as players we enjoy making them happy.
“For me the nicest thing is to see the smiles on their faces – it makes them happy and it's something we can do as players.”
A group of Iranian supporters were also in attendance on Tuesday afternoon, and the summer arrival spoke of his pride at representing his country at both the Albion and all of his former clubs.
“I had some Iranian fans here and it’s always nice when you see your country represented.
“It’s always a nice feeling to see your flag – wherever I’ve been the Iran fans have always been there and supported me.
“It’s always been the same for me ever since I was in Holland, football is the first sport in Iran and they follow the national players – I’ve played in two World Cups and I’ve been with the team for about five or six years now, so wherever I go they always follow.
“They’re crazy about football – sometimes they can be very emotional, but it always makes me proud to see Iranian people follow me wherever I go.”
Jahanbakhsh has started two Premier League matches since arriving from AZ Alkmaar in the close season – both ended in victories over West Ham United and Newcastle United respectively.
He reflected on his time on the south coast so far, and believes he can still make improvements to his game, as the Seagulls look to claim their third Premier League win in succession.
“I’ve had to be patient since I arrived at the club – I feel confident at the moment; the team have been doing well recently and I felt like we were quite unlucky in some matches before that.
“In the last two games we’ve gained maximum points, it doesn’t matter if I play or not – the most important thing is to be in good shape with the team and when the manager decides to pick me I’ll do my best.
“I think I still need to adapt to the league, the environment and the tactics – that takes a while but any time the manager asks me to play I’ll do my best and hopefully we can continue our good form at home to Wolves this weekend."
Supporters who attended the event can purchase their pictures from Tuesday afternoon on Seagulls Pics by clicking here.