Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23s enjoyed a second morning of pre-season training in Portugal today, before heading back out in the afternoon, as Simon Rusk’s team continue to prepare for a pre-season friendly on Friday.
Defender Kacper Lopata is currently experiencing his first pre-season camp with Albion’s under-23s, alongside a handful of other under-18s, and the 17-year-old is relishing the challenge.
He said, “It’s been slightly different to what I’ve been used to, the level is obviously a bit higher and everything is slightly quicker, but I’m really enjoying it.
“It’s been nice for everyone to get away — the sessions have been hard, especially in the heat over here, but we’re all keen to push on.
“It’s all about development right now — it’s important to have game time and Friday’s friendly is a good chance for everyone.”
The centre-back played his part in helping Albion’s under-18s to a fifth-placed finish in the Premier League South last season, and he’s hopeful that his club form will continue to create opportunities with his country.
“I was happy with last season, coming from a college to signing my professional contract at Brighton and making my debut for Poland at under-18 level.
“One of the biggest reasons why I chose to sign for Brighton was because I knew the move would help me at international level.
“I was called up to the under-19s for a training camp in Russia a while ago, and I’m now focused on getting a call-up for Poland’s under-20s.
“For Brighton, I want to play as many games as I can, whether it’s for the under-23s or elsewhere. It’s all about learning at this stage of my career.”