Bradley Stratton: Experience vital for Albion in the Premier League

Albion midfielder Steve Sidwell. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Albion midfielder Steve Sidwell. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
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As much as fans will get excited by the prospect of new players arriving at the Amex ahead of Brighton’s return to the top flight, maintaining core elements of last season’s promotion-winning squad will be as important to most supporters.

While there has yet to be any official word on the futures of David Stockdale and Niki Maenpaa, the other out-of-contract players offered new deals have signed on for Albion’s Premier League bow.

The latest to do so was Steve Sidwell, whose new one-year deal was announced this week.

The 34-year old was an integral part of the club’s midfield last season, and while it’s hard to say whether he’ll have as big a role on the pitch this season, there are many more attributes he can bring that will benefit the Seagulls next season.

Of the current squad signed on for next season, only Sidwell, Liam Rosenior and Glenn Murray have had significant experience playing in the top flight for a number of seasons. Having those kind of players in the side will only help make the step up to the top flight easier for the younger players at the club, in what is likely to be a difficult campaign on the field for the Seagulls.

The togetherness that has been built under Chris Hughton has required having dressing room leaders who have been there and done it to maintain the morale and right attitude when the going gets tough, and in that respect Sidwell certainly fits the bill.

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