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New Deals for Development Squad Players

PUBLISHED

17:45 21st May 2013

by Adam Tighe

Four Albion development squad players have been handed one-year extensions for the 2013/14 season.

The quartet are midfielder Courtney Richards, forwards Shamir Goodwin and Brennan Dickenson, and goalkeeper Grant Smith – who signed from Fulham at the start of the season.

Development squad coach Luke Williams explained the qualities that convinced him to extend the four deals, telling seagulls.co.uk, "There are no guarantees in football and these lads have worked extremely hard to achieve this and thoroughly deserve their extensions. 

"Courtney has been magnificent this season in how he has adapted his game and his progress has been staggering. He wants to learn and he understands how this club works and I am delighted to see him rewarded.

“Brennan is unbelievably quick, he is a constant threat and he has grown up as a man and a player over the last six months. Shamir is showing me that he wants to be the main striker in our development squad and he is pushing himself and always trying to improve.

“And finally Grant has been solid in goal for us, he is learning how we play and believes in the style of football which is important. He has shown us he can make those big saves when we need him and he installs confidence in the players in front of him.

“But this is not it for these lads, they must take this opportunity that is in front of them and continue to show the dedication and improvements over the next year. They have this chance because they've earned it, and I have full faith in all of them that they will push on.”

The club’s Young Player of the Year Solly March has also had a contract extension until 2015, a deal he agreed back in January.

Meanwhile defenders Theo Jones, Daniel Akubuine and Ben Sampayo have been released, along with Charlie Oatway Junior, Anton Rodgers, Yaser Kasim, goalkeeper Dan East and Dutch striker Roland Bergkamp.

Williams admitted it was tough to let the group of players leave but wished them all well for the future.

“It is with great sadness that we are seeing these guys leave the club. It is unfortunately the most unpleasant part of my job as Under-21 coach.

“But I can say without any doubt each of them have provided me with a lot of joy over the seasons and have been absolutely terrific to work with. I thank them for their tireless efforts during their time at Brighton & Hove Albion.

“I cannot fault their commitment to this club and the identity of football that we play. I am positive all of them can go on to have successful careers in football and they know I am always at the end of the phone should they ever need any advice or guidance.” 

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