Seagulls skipper Bruno aims to soar into Premier League

Albion defender Bruno. Picture by Phil Westlake

Albion defender Bruno. Picture by Phil Westlake

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New Albion captain Bruno says the club are ready for the Premier League.

The Seagulls agonisingly missed out on promotion to the top flight on goal difference last season, before they lost in the semi-finals of the Championship for the third time in the past four campaigns.

Bruno, 35, took over as Brighton captain this summer and cannot wait for the new season to get under way after starting all 46 league matches last season.

The bearded Spaniard joined Albion in the summer of 2012 from Valencia and his attacking flair from right-back has made him a popular figure with supporters.

He has played 149 times since arriving at the Amex and was named in the Football League team of the year last season.

Reaching the Premier League with the Seagulls is his number one goal and he said: “It would mean a lot, not just for myself but for the club.

“When you see a club doing the right things and all the staff and all the people, it’s ready to take this step forward.

“I think it’s the right time and I’m really sure we’re going to do it. I don’t know if it will be this season or next season, I don’t know when, but this club is going to get there.

“We’ve got everything, the facilities, the fans and that’s so important.”

Bruno admitted it was an honour to be made club captain by Seagulls boss Chris Hughton this summer and said: “It’s a pleasure for me, it’s so nice to see the respect from my team-mates, the staff as well and I’m so happy and I’m delighted to be captain.

“Of course, it’s a big responsibility for me because I know what it means to be captain in England but I’ll try to enjoy it as well and I’ve got really nice team mates, so it’s easy to be captain.”

Bruno says he will use his experience to help the club’s younger players and said: “I’ll always try to help them if I can but it’s not just me. Siddy (Steve Sidwell) and Liam (Rosenior) have played a lot of games in the Premier League and a lot of football as well.

“We are so lucky because the young lads here have got a lot of quality, a lot of skill and good mentality, so it’s so easy to work with them.”

Bruno also had special praise for the Brighton fans and said: “We are so lucky, I come from Spain and to find this kind of fans is so nice.

“For me, it was a shock from the first day, they are always supporting at home and away games and for us, it’s massive.

“Last season when we played at MK Dons for example (7,000 Albion fans), it was unbelievable and from Spain sometimes my friends call me and say ‘wow, you weren’t even playing at home’ and it’s a shock for them.

“We are so lucky to have the fans and all the players know how lucky we are.”

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