Brighton & Hove Albion under-23 coach Simon Rusk felt Monday’s night’s 2-0 victory over SL Benfica B provided the perfect platform to showcase the progress that’s been made within the club’s academy.
A packed stand at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre watched the Seagulls overcome the Portuguese giants, and Rusk assessed a successful evening for his team.
He said, “Overall, it was a great night for development football. There were two good under-23 teams, a European side at our wonderful training ground, and it was a great advertisement for how far we’ve come as a club from an academy point of view.
“A side like Benfica were going to be comfortable on the ball in most areas of the pitch, but every team has a different approach.
“Maybe there is more physicality in a British side, but we also had our passages of play where we were very good on the ball. Technically, there wasn’t a huge difference between the sides.
“I was really proud of what the players did. It’s also nice to have a good turnout — that really helps and I know the players appreciate it.”
The Seagulls now face Chelsea at The EBB Stadium on Saturday, and Rusk expects another difficult game as his team look to continue their positive start in the Premier League 2 Division 1.
“They’ll have lots of pace about them and lots of individual capability. It’s one that we can certainly look forward to and get our teeth stuck into.
“We’re delighted with how we’re doing, but we know every game is a tough one. Chelsea away speaks for itself really.”