Former Brighton & Hove Albion defender Sebastien Pocognoli reflected on the happy memories that his loan spell at the club provided, as the Standard Liege captain helped the Seagulls reach the Premier League in 2017.
Pocognoli, who arrived at the Amex Stadium on loan from West Bromwich Albion, made 20 league appearances for the Seagulls, before enjoying the post-season celebrations after clinching a return to England’s top flight.
The full-back has since spent two seasons in the Jupiler Pro League, but his fond memories of Albion’s promotion-winning campaign will remain with the Belgian for years to come.
He said, “I had a great time at Brighton and only have positive memories. We had a positive ending together, it was a historic moment for the club and I was very proud to be part of it.
“I keep good memories with the players, especially Anthony [Knockaert] and Bruno, and the likes of [Liam] Rosenior and Dunky.
“I still feel close to the team — I watch the games and continue to support the club. It’s great to see the club growing every year in the right direction.
“Hopefully they can make another step this season and push for the top ten — perhaps that’s the ambition for the next couple of years. I wish the club all the best.”
The 31-year-old’s only goal in England came on a memorable night at Loftus Road, as the Belgian found the top corner with a stunning free-kick against Queens Park Rangers in a match that saw Albion edge towards promotion.
“I really enjoyed every minute that I played for Brighton,” he continued. “But if I can remember two games in particular, it would be the Sheffield Wednesday game at home, when we won 2-1, and the QPR game.
“They were big games in our season — maybe the QPR game was the one that pushed us towards being promoted. I have great memories of that night with the supporters.
“We have a lot of good left-footed free-kick takers at Standard Liege, so the last one that I scored was for Brighton. Maybe I can score another this season, we’ll see.”
After leaving Standard Liege in 2013 for spells in Germany and England, Pocognoli returned for a second period at the club after his stint at Albion, and the defender spoke about the latest chapter in his career.
“When I left Brighton, I signed a three-year contract at Standard Liege, with a new project at the club.
“We’ve finished second and third over the past two seasons, we won the Belgian Cup in the first season and played in the Europa League twice.
“It’s been positive and hopefully we can fight for top spot this season — that is the ambition. For me, I need to keep my spot in the team.
“I was injured last season, so I didn’t play a lot, but I’m a proud captain of the team and the project of the club is very good.”