Seeing the opportunities given to young players by Hope Powell was all the convincing Maisie Symonds needed to commit her future to the club.
The 18-year-old signed her first professional contract with Albion earlier this month having initially joined from Chelsea in January.
Symonds labels Powell as the ‘perfect coach’ to help take her game to the next level.
“Hope is a legend in the women’s game. I can see she’s got a lot of experience of working with and developing young players.
“She’s the perfect coach in my eyes because she’s always communicating, always telling me what she wants from me and how I can improve, so I can be at the level she wants me to be.
“I have been in the squad every week since I joined and I got to play in the final game of the season against Huddersfield and I really enjoyed it. Hope didn’t put any pressure on me, she just wants to get the best out of me.”
Time spent settling in at the Albion gave her a good opportunity to get to know the club, but Symonds still can’t quite believe she’s had the opportunity to turn professional.
“I always wanted to do what I love for a living, especially at a great club like Brighton.
“I loved my first six months at the club. I have already learned a lot from the players and the environment. I can’t wait to contribute to the success of the club and build on the record WSL finish last season.
“I had been at Chelsea my whole career, but felt a fresh start for me was important at this stage. Chelsea have brought in a lot of players and it felt like there was a clearer pathway to the first team at Brighton. The idea of working with someone like Hope and seeing players like Maya Le Tissier get their chance was a massive pull.”