Will Packham has revealed his relief at remaining part of Albion's plans.

The young keeper feared the worst after blundering on his full debut.

Now he is looking forward to life in Division One with the Seagulls after earning a new contract and recording a clean sheet on his first League start.

Packham gifted Preston a goal when deputising for the injured Michel Kuipers in their 2-0 win in the FA Cup at Withdean in January.

Boss Peter Taylor believes the 21-year-old from Brighton has demonstrated enough promise in the reserves to deserve another one-year deal.

Packham celebrated by standing in again for the sidelined Kuipers in last Saturday's closing 1-0 win for the Second Division champions at Port Vale.

"It's great to have another year," Packham said. "It's another trial really but that is what I have been working for over the last few years, getting my next contract.

"You just never know how the manager is thinking. Micky Adams gave me my previous contract, so I was sad to see him go. I'm just thankful the gaffer can trust me for another year.

"It will be unbelievable in the First Division. I can remember Mark Lawrenson coming down and saying you will never see Brighton in the Premiership. We're one division away now and it would be nice to make him eat his words.

"The fans were great at Port Vale and there was no pressure on me. The defence has been playing well all year and I can see now why Michel has been happy with them. I don't think I had a shot to save."

Taylor said: "I was pleased for Will to get a clean sheet. That will do him the world of good.

"If Michel had played with his thigh injury he could have really ripped it to bits and may not have been fit for the start of the season."

Taylor opened individual talks yesterday with members of his title winning squad. They continue today and tomorrow and he has another meeting today with chairman Dick Knight about the playing budget for next season.

"It's really just a case of talking to the players about things they have done well and things they can improve on," Taylor said.

"Certain ones will get new contracts, but I can't discuss figures with them until I get the budget sorted out with Dick."

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