Appointment of Graham Potter a big chance for Brighton and Hove Albion academy prospects
Brighton and Hove Albion chairman Tony Bloom has revealed his hopes for Brighton's academy players to break into the first team, but insists new manager Potter will only play them if they are 'at the required level'.
Potter was renowned at Swansea for bringing young players through the ranks while being forced to work on a tight budget, and having seen a lack of opportunities for academy players in the last few seasons, Bloom knows that this could be a great chance for Brighton's youth players to get some first team opportunities.
The chairman said: "With the academy it's difficult. We've only been here for five years so the Category One status is quite new to us. Obviously a long term goal is for the academy kids to come through into the first team but they have to be at the required level, and now we're in the Premier League that level has gone up a long way.
"We would love to see some of the younger players be there and I'm sure they're good enough, but Graham is only going to put them in if they're good enough. The academy is a really important part of what we are as a football club and we're hopeful that in time, we will get more players through."
Brighton had planned to feed more youth players into the first team over the last few seasons, but promotion to the Premier League and new signings have meant opportunities have been limited.
There is a handful of youth players who have tasted first team football, with the likes of Aaron Connnolly and George Cox going out on loan last season to Luton Town and Northampton Town respectively. However, opportunities at Brighton, especially in the Premier League, have been incredibly hard to come by and the appointment of Graham Potter could be a massive chance for all those waiting in the wings.