Brighton & Hove Albion under-23s defender Alex Cochrane says that he’s delighted with the progress he’s making at the football club.
The full-back signed a new two-year contract on Friday afternoon, and spoke of his happiness at the way his career is taking shape on the south coast.
“It’s a very proud moment for me and my family and I’m delighted, as a lot of hard work has gone into my career so far and that will continue now as I try to keep pushing on.
“It’s been a natural progression for me through the age groups so far at this club, and last season was a very good one for me. Now I have to kick on, because this coming campaign is a big season.
“There’s a new head coach with the first team now and it’s up to myself to keep showing the under-23 coaches and the first team set-up what I can do.”
Cochrane was part of the under-23 group that impressed during their debut top-flight season in Premier League 2 Division 1, and he insisted that the aim has to be to replicate those efforts for the coming term.
“Last year was a good campaign for the group and it was beneficial for me to play as many matches as I did,” he continued.
“The lads had a great season, we were unlucky not to win the title, but this year we have to pick ourselves up and go again to reach the standards we’ve now set ourselves.
“We have a new group of lads coming and we have to try and go one step further this year.”
The likes of Viktor Gyokeres, Leo Ostigard, Jayson Molumby, Max Sanders, Aaron Connolly and Steven Alzate have all been involved with Graham Potter’s first team pre-season sessions so far.
The 19-year-old defender spoke of the encouragement that those involvements give both himself and the rest of the group going forward into the new campaign.
“There’s been a number of our under-23s involved with the first team and that’s obviously really encouraging for all of us.
“Last year Viktor made his senior debut for the club and was involved a lot, so we can see that there’s a pathway there.
“For me it’s about building on last year and taking myself to that next level, and with the coaching staff here, I feel like I can do that.”