Brighton & Hove Albion under-23 midfielder Ryan Longman says he’s relishing the chance of establishing himself in Simon Rusk’s group ahead of the new season.
The 18-year old signed a new deal on Friday afternoon to keep him at the club until July 2020, and he spoke of the challenge that now lies ahead during the 2019/20 campaign.
He said, “The group had a great year last season, the quality in the under-23s has really come on in the last few campaigns and I was glad to become a part of that.
“They did really well last term and it’s not an easy group to get into, when I did get that opportunity I just tried my best to take it.
“Now it’s about carrying it on this coming campaign, I want to establish myself in that team and see where we go from there.”
Longman made 14 appearances for the under-18s last term, scoring seven times.
The wide-man then found the net in the final game of the season for the under-23s against Chelsea and reflected on the progression path he took last year.
“I’m really excited by the new deal and it’s made me even hungrier for the new campaign now,” he continued.
“I’ve made good progress here at the football club and the transition from the under-18 group to the under-23s last term was smooth for me, which was obviously nice.
“I’d like to think my performances for the under-18s were rewarded with the move into that set-up, and it was something I felt comfortable with."
Albion’s under-18s enjoyed a memorable FA Youth Cup run last year, beating both West Ham United and Manchester United away from home.
The latter fixture saw Mikey Harris and Mark Beard’s side pick up a 3-1 win in the process, a game in which Longman scored a spectacular second goal for the Seagulls.
“The FA Youth Cup run was probably my stand-out moment from last year and the goal against Manchester United was special too.
“We defied expectations as a group, you always have to go into a game thinking you can win and that’s the mentality we had.
“Everything that night went our way, we got an early goal and settled into the match on the night really well before killing it off so it's one I'll always remember.”