Johnny Cantor: Interest in Albion is going to become global in the Premier League

They say the Championship is a long season and Monday's Brighton and Hove Albion awards night reflected that for sure.

Thursday, 27th April 2017, 8:10 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 4:08 am
Steve Sidwell with his goal of the season award. Picture by Paul Hazlewood (BHAFC)

The evening was well attended by the players and fans had all sorts of elements. As always, the club’s media team put together some wonderful videos (and delighted to hear BBC Sussex commentary included), there were touching speeches, comedy sketches and a lot of fun.

Next door in a special room there were more media personnel than in previous years ready to interview winners and write copy.

The days of just myself and Andy Naylor from The Argus were gone. Sky Sports were there with live pre and post awards interviews amongst glamorous guests and smartly-dressed players, freelancers from two national newspapers and also three from other local publications.

It is of course something the club and us all will have to get used to in the Premier League. Restrictions are tighter but interest is global. Requests from abroad will start to roll in.

Post-match interviews will come from BBC, BT, NBC and Al Jazeera. Of course, it’s all good news for the club. Sponsors will be keen to join. Charities will want to align.

From a personal point of view, I hope those people like me and Andy are not forgotten in the hiatus of the top-flight after years of coverage.

Listening back to the interviews I edited into the early hours of Tuesday morning, the challenges of next season were most clearly explained by one player who has been there.

Former Chelsea, Fulham and Stoke midfielder Steve Sidwell was clear that resolve would be required in abundance from August.

There will be knock-backs for the team, says the 34 year old. There will be heavy losses but it’s how the squad reacts that counts. Of course, the club has bounced back on many occasions.

The resilience to achieve promotion after the climax to and disappointment of last season was incredible. However, it’s not just in the last 12 months that the club has overcome obstacles.

The struggles of the last 20 years now have national awareness after promotion this season.

That resolve was clear to see on Monday with all the archived footage of the Goldstone, Withdean and now the Amex.

Strength of character will be required next season, as well as a better standard of football to survive in the Premier League. The last two decades tell us that the Seagulls have that character. They will certainly have the biggest stage in the world on which to show it.

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