The ArgusSeagulls award pro deals to hot prospects (From The Argus)

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Seagulls award pro deals to hot prospects

The Argus: Conor Wilkins in action Conor Wilkins in action

Conor Wilkins has been awarded a professional contract with Albion – two years after dad Dean lost his job as manager.

Wilkins junior, a six-foot plus midfielder, is among six second-year scholars handed pro deals by the Seagulls.

He was starting out as a scholar when his father was axed by former chairman Dick Knight.

Albion’s director of youth Martin Hinshelwood said: “I think he found it really hard in the first three or four months but he grew up and life goes on, especially in football. You have to cope with that sort of thing.

“He’s got good passing vision, which runs in the family. He likes to play deep and we have been encouraging him to get forward more. He has also got to use his size a bit more than he does at the moment.”

Defenders Lewis Dunk, Grant Hall and James Smith, midfielder Ryan Thomson and highly-rated striker George Barker have also been given contracts of at least a year.

Winger Leon Redwood’s scholarship has been extended by a further 12 months after his first year was wiped out by a cruciate knee ligament injury but defender Lee Cooper has been released.

Albion have also offered scholarship deals to six schoolboys, including Jake Caskey and Douglas Tuck.

Caskey is the stepson of the Seagulls’ out-on-loan Charlton striker Nicky Forster, Tuck the nephew of ex-Albion defender Stuart Tuck.

Comments (9)

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1:57pm Fri 30 Apr 10

russellsnr says...

Well done to him hope it works out.
Just read that Gus has stated he wants two players for each position and no one will go out on loan next season, also says if the players don't like that they will not be wanted at Brighton.
At last a manager with B***S
Well done to him hope it works out. Just read that Gus has stated he wants two players for each position and no one will go out on loan next season, also says if the players don't like that they will not be wanted at Brighton. At last a manager with B***S russellsnr
  • Score: 0

6:25pm Fri 30 Apr 10

Zamora25 says...

Given what has happened to Virgo and Cox and the fact that only Elphick and El-Abd are anywhere near the first team one has to question any of these players will make the grade.
Given what has happened to Virgo and Cox and the fact that only Elphick and El-Abd are anywhere near the first team one has to question any of these players will make the grade. Zamora25
  • Score: 0

7:04pm Fri 30 Apr 10

Living in the real world says...

How to build a team on the cheap.
Starting to sound like the same old brighton short sighted thinking which got us no where fast for the last two or three years.
How to build a team on the cheap. Starting to sound like the same old brighton short sighted thinking which got us no where fast for the last two or three years. Living in the real world
  • Score: 0

7:58am Sat 1 May 10

Graysgull says...

Living in the real world wrote:
How to build a team on the cheap.
Starting to sound like the same old brighton short sighted thinking which got us no where fast for the last two or three years.
You obviously are living in a different real world to the rest of us.

Where do you think that talent like Peter Ward, Bobby Zamora, Mark Lawrenson, Gordon Smith, Wayne Rooney and Alan Shearer came from?

Did they magically appear on the scene with their skills?

No! They all started in either Youth teams with professional clubs or in non league teams. These young lads that have been given contracts or scholarships COULD tun out to be the next Zamora, Gerrard or Lampard, but that is yet to be found out.

Zamora was, if I remember correctly, in West Ham's Youth Academy, was released by them, went to Bristol Rovers as a trainee, where we snapped him up, and look at him now, Premiership player, being touted for England (having played one game for the Under 21's), and will be playing in the Europa League Final.

What would have happened to him if the people involved in that little story took the views that you two hold?

His talent would have been lost, we would not have had such a successful period in our history, and who knows what sort of life he would have!!

Youth players & 1st Year Professionals are always a gamble, with probably 80% of them not progressing on to glory, but it is worth the punt, as you never know what talent can be developed.

So, stop knocking the youth development, and just because they are not playing regular 1st team football doesn't mean they are useless, because there are older, more experienced player ahead of them, and they have to wait their chances, and take them when they get them.

You will get players that show great promise, (Dean Cox, Jake Robinson, etc), but never quite produce the goods when they get into the first team. That could be down to them, or down to the training they are given. If they had been under Gus's wing at the start of their careers, things may have turned out differently for them. Look how El-Abd has changed since Gus & Tanno have arrived! He's a whole new player...
[quote][p][bold]Living in the real world[/bold] wrote: How to build a team on the cheap. Starting to sound like the same old brighton short sighted thinking which got us no where fast for the last two or three years.[/p][/quote]You obviously are living in a different real world to the rest of us. Where do you think that talent like Peter Ward, Bobby Zamora, Mark Lawrenson, Gordon Smith, Wayne Rooney and Alan Shearer came from? Did they magically appear on the scene with their skills? No! They all started in either Youth teams with professional clubs or in non league teams. These young lads that have been given contracts or scholarships COULD tun out to be the next Zamora, Gerrard or Lampard, but that is yet to be found out. Zamora was, if I remember correctly, in West Ham's Youth Academy, was released by them, went to Bristol Rovers as a trainee, where we snapped him up, and look at him now, Premiership player, being touted for England (having played one game for the Under 21's), and will be playing in the Europa League Final. What would have happened to him if the people involved in that little story took the views that you two hold? His talent would have been lost, we would not have had such a successful period in our history, and who knows what sort of life he would have!! Youth players & 1st Year Professionals are always a gamble, with probably 80% of them not progressing on to glory, but it is worth the punt, as you never know what talent can be developed. So, stop knocking the youth development, and just because they are not playing regular 1st team football doesn't mean they are useless, because there are older, more experienced player ahead of them, and they have to wait their chances, and take them when they get them. You will get players that show great promise, (Dean Cox, Jake Robinson, etc), but never quite produce the goods when they get into the first team. That could be down to them, or down to the training they are given. If they had been under Gus's wing at the start of their careers, things may have turned out differently for them. Look how El-Abd has changed since Gus & Tanno have arrived! He's a whole new player... Graysgull
  • Score: 0

10:09am Sat 1 May 10

Zamora25 says...

"80% probably won't make it".

Brighton promoted ten players in one go a couple of seasons back. How many of those are still here? 1.

My grumble is the number of players who have been offered deals. 6, which is really 7 as Mitch Walker is also a second year scholar, is far too many IMHO. Walker and Barker have potential, Connor Wilkins being Dean Wilkins son and being 6 foot plus has the height to become a midfield enforcer and Lewis Dunk who has talked about for a while and likened to Tommy Elphick. But the other three I'm not sure. What is going to happen to Pelling, Cook and Brinkhurst? If they are kept we may have ten players who are nowhere near first team standard and will probably end having to go into next season with a squad of 30+ players rather than 22 Gus was looking for.
"80% probably won't make it". Brighton promoted ten players in one go a couple of seasons back. How many of those are still here? 1. My grumble is the number of players who have been offered deals. 6, which is really 7 as Mitch Walker is also a second year scholar, is far too many IMHO. Walker and Barker have potential, Connor Wilkins being Dean Wilkins son and being 6 foot plus has the height to become a midfield enforcer and Lewis Dunk who has talked about for a while and likened to Tommy Elphick. But the other three I'm not sure. What is going to happen to Pelling, Cook and Brinkhurst? If they are kept we may have ten players who are nowhere near first team standard and will probably end having to go into next season with a squad of 30+ players rather than 22 Gus was looking for. Zamora25
  • Score: 0

11:29am Sat 1 May 10

Graysgull says...

Being pedantic 2 others are still here, although are not being offered new contracts this year, and don't forget that Virgo brought in £1.5m in transfer fees.

But you miss the point. Pelling, Cook and Brinkhurst all play in positions which we have covered by more than 1 senior players, so 1st team opportunities are rare for them. Cook has played 1st team once, and been on the bench a few times, but we have not been in a position to offer opportunities as we have always been struggling to survive, and needed what experience we had on the field. I suspect that these players will be evaluated by Gus over the next few games, and we may even see them in the team, if available, in these last 2 games.

Gus has proved himself in being able to identify talent, and get the best out of them, so I would trust him to do what's right.

What has happened in the past cannot be changed, and those that were involved are mainly gone, or removed from influence, so It's time to look forward, not back.
Being pedantic 2 others are still here, although are not being offered new contracts this year, and don't forget that Virgo brought in £1.5m in transfer fees. But you miss the point. Pelling, Cook and Brinkhurst all play in positions which we have covered by more than 1 senior players, so 1st team opportunities are rare for them. Cook has played 1st team once, and been on the bench a few times, but we have not been in a position to offer opportunities as we have always been struggling to survive, and needed what experience we had on the field. I suspect that these players will be evaluated by Gus over the next few games, and we may even see them in the team, if available, in these last 2 games. Gus has proved himself in being able to identify talent, and get the best out of them, so I would trust him to do what's right. What has happened in the past cannot be changed, and those that were involved are mainly gone, or removed from influence, so It's time to look forward, not back. Graysgull
  • Score: 0

12:23pm Sat 1 May 10

waterhouse says...

so what if we have taken on 6 scholars!
just think how much each one is earning a week.
hardly anything i'd imagine.
so what if we have taken on 6 scholars! just think how much each one is earning a week. hardly anything i'd imagine. waterhouse
  • Score: 0

12:23pm Sat 1 May 10

Zamora25 says...

But if there is more than one senior player in front of them then Pelling, Cook and Brinkhurst first team chances aren't likely to increase. Is there any point keeping them?

I think these three need to play in thee remaining games. The same goes for the other out of contract players.
But if there is more than one senior player in front of them then Pelling, Cook and Brinkhurst first team chances aren't likely to increase. Is there any point keeping them? I think these three need to play in thee remaining games. The same goes for the other out of contract players. Zamora25
  • Score: 0

12:08pm Sun 2 May 10

Captain Haddock says...

In all likelihood the trio Zamora25 mentions will be loaned out or far more probably released.

As for the 6 'new pros', they may well also go out on loan but either way don't make up part if the 22/23 man squad Gus refers too. They are still considered 'works-in-progress' and will make up the squad for reserves games (unless they make a major impression and break through next season - which in all honesty will represent a BONUS!

It's good we are giving them time to step up to the next phase in their careers here, as encouragement to other local kids of the future AND on the off-chance that one or some of them make the grade at the level we are headed for.

P.S congrats to Lewis Dunk on his first team debut yesterday.
In all likelihood the trio Zamora25 mentions will be loaned out or far more probably released. As for the 6 'new pros', they may well also go out on loan but either way don't make up part if the 22/23 man squad Gus refers too. They are still considered 'works-in-progress' and will make up the squad for reserves games (unless they make a major impression and break through next season - which in all honesty will represent a BONUS! It's good we are giving them time to step up to the next phase in their careers here, as encouragement to other local kids of the future AND on the off-chance that one or some of them make the grade at the level we are headed for. P.S congrats to Lewis Dunk on his first team debut yesterday. Captain Haddock
  • Score: 0

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