Brighton & Hove Albion under-23 goalkeeper Tom McGill is looking forward to beginning tomorrow's training camp in Portugal, and believes the trip will help the newcomers to Simon Rusk’s squad settle ahead of the 2019/20 Premier League 2 campaign.
McGill enjoyed loan spells at Greenwich Borough and Basingstoke Town last season, and the goalkeeper is now focused on working hard to make the most of any opportunities that come his way.
Rusk’s side head to Portugal this afternoon and McGill, who signed a new two-year contract on Wednesday, understands the need for high standards as the team begin their preparations for the upcoming season.
He said, “Everybody enjoys going away for a bit of warm-weather training. It’s a nice chance to get away and have a change of scenery. It almost gets you working harder.
“Going away for pre-season does give the players a chance to bond, and if there are new players coming into the group, that’s very important.
“It’s their opportunity to show what they’re about, competing in the under-23 group for the first time. It’s also our chance to help them integrate and make them feel welcome.
“But we also have to compete with them to keep the standards high in the group, as we’re all competing for our shirts.”
McGill kept a clean sheet in Albion’s 1-0 victory at Manchester City last season — his only league appearance for Rusk’s side — and the shot-stopper is now expecting an important season on a personal level.
“It will be a defining season for me, hopefully trying to work towards the first team, however that looks, whether it’s a good season for the under-23s or another season out on loan.
“I wouldn't say I ever stop thinking about my career, it’s always in the back of your mind when you’re away for the summer, because you’ve got to come back fit and ready to train.
“Everybody expects the standard to be high, to come back and hit the ground running. There’s no room for error — things happen quickly and if you can’t match it, you’re soon left behind.”