IMPRESSED Andrew Crofts says Albion’s under-23s are getting the first team treatment.

Player-coach Crofts got his first action for Simon Rusk’s side in the 2-0 victory away at AFC Wimbledon last week in the Trophy.

The midfielder, now in his third spell with the the Seagulls, believes the environment can get the young guns ready for the next step.

Former Wales international Crofts, 35, said: “Since I have come in it’s been brilliant.

“It’s like a first team and fair play to Simon Rusk and Shannon Ruth (assistant coach).

“I’ve stepped into an environment where it’s just like being in the first team.

“The good habits, the high standards day in day out – they demand the highest and that’s what the boys demand.

“You are going to have off-days now and then but they are young players and they are learning.

“If you can get those habits instilled in them at early ages you can see exactly what they are all about.

“There are always going to be bumps along the road.”

Crofts believes people’s perception of the under-23s set-up is different to what is it actually like from the inside.

He revealed: “Training is intense, the standards are higher, and the games are proper football games.

“The perception I had from the outside is a little bit different but once you get involved in it, there is a real place for it.”