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Young Seagulls meet their Albion heroes
2:13pm Wednesday 16th April 2014 in News
Youngsters got the chance to grace the hallowed turf of the American Express Community Stadium as they trained alongside their Albion heroes.
The Seagulls held their annual Easter Open Day at the Amex and Young Seagulls flocked to the ground to spend the day with the Brighton and Hove Albion stars.
Two lucky fans also got the opportunity to play the FIFA 14 computer game with Jake Forster-Caskey and Kazenga LuaLua.
Forster-Caskey said: “It’s brilliant – it’s nice for the players to give back a little bit and the fans can get an insight into how we train.
“It was good to meet all the Young Seagulls. I was one of those kids once supporting the players and hopefully there are some future players out there.
“Obviously it’s nice when you’ve got people supporting you, so it does make a difference.”
Ten young fans got the chance to take part in a special penalty shoot-out against a first-team goalkeeper.
Putting on a show And 20 more Young Seagulls from the club’s Young Seagulls Plus members and junior season-ticket holders got up close and personal with manager Oscar Garcia and the players by watching a training session from the home and away benches.
Star striker Craig Mackail Smith loved having the extra eyes on the session.
He said: “It was great to see so many young fans come in and watch the boys train and they can get a glimpse into what we do every day.
“It’s nice to have a bit of noise about and gives you a bit more impetus to try harder and put on a show for them.”
Fellow forward Will Hoskins recently returned to training following a spell on the sidelines after two operations and enjoyed playing in front of fans.
He said: “I really enjoyed it, especially after being out for so long.”
The event was hosted by Seagulls TV’s Richard Reynolds and Juice FM Breakfast Show co-host Hanna Neter.
Football freestylers Daniel Cutting and Mark Harlow entertained the crowd throughout the morning, offering tips and advice to supporters who wish to take up the sport.
Irish international midfielder Keith Andrews said: “I think it’s very important for these kids as some of them are going to support us for years to come and potentially for the rest of their lives.
“We were all in that position at some stage and it’s good for them to see the players up close.”
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