Dan Burn has made the big break from his native North East.

He has bounced around the county as a professional footballer and is happy with his family in Sussex.

But the Albion defender will always be grateful for his upbringing in and around Newcastle, especially in terms of the football.

Burn is back in his heartland today, hoping to help the Seagulls win while appreciating his surrounds.

He suspects he might not have gone down the right path had he stayed in the Toon rather than moving to Fulham.

But what he learnt in the North East will stick with him forever.

Burn told The Argus: “I was at the Newcastle development centre from nine to about 12.

“Then I was released and I was gutted because it was my boyhood club but I have always wanted to go back there and play in some sort of capacity.

“I used to play against Paul Dummett a lot with my school.

“Where I’m from, Blyth, has got a bit of a name for itself but I was quite fortunate. I had a great childhood.

“My mam stayed home and brought me up and my dad went out and worked.

“It was just that environment. It’s different up north. Everything is built towards football.

“It was the only thing that we did in school.

“We didn’t do rugby, cricket or anything. It’s just all football and I think that gives us an advantage, just the environment I grew up in and how much I was doing.

“I was more or less training full-time every single day.”

Burn’s progress through non-league football while working at a supermarket is well documented.

The big break on and off the pitch came when he joined Fulham, aged 18.

He said: “I wanted to get out of that environment where I could be sucked in to going out with my mates on the drink and stuff like that.

“I was glad I moved away but I have been all over the country now.

“I like going back home but I am happy where I am now.

“I have a young family and I enjoy living down here.”

He will always be a Toon supporter, though.

“All my family were Newcastle fans.

“My dad had a season ticket and we probably got one when I was nine or ten.

“Me and my brother used to split all the games.

“I had some great times. I was growing up when we were in the Champions League so I got to see Andy Griffin score against Juventus, which I will always remember.

“When we beat Sunderland 5-1, I was there. Shola (Ameobi) scored a hat-trick.

“I had a lot of good times being there.

“We used to sit in the East Stand, the smaller stand, on the halfway line and they were great seats.

My parents will be there, about five or six of my mates, my wife, grandparents, so it will be nice.”

Head coach Graham Potter does not expect the extra attention to adversely affect a player in whom he has shown massive trust so far this season.

Potter said: “I don’t think it matters that much Sometimes you can play well, sometimes you can just not play well.

“Dan is experienced enough. He has been around enough and had his ups and downs.

“He is a player who, whatever you ask of him, he tries his best to do.

“He is very competitive, very honest. He has waited a long time for his opportunity. Sometimes as a player you have to wait, to be patient and take that opportunity when it comes.

“He can still improve but I have been really pleased with him and enjoyed working with him.”

It was all pretty downcast at the Amex after last Saturday’s draw versus Burnley but that perspective has changed over the past few days as the players have got to work at their training complex in Lancing.

Burn said: “I think on Saturday and Sunday a lot of the lads were hurting .

“It hurt us conceding a goal that late on because we want to kick on and not be in this sort of battle that we could possibly get sucked into.

“But, by the time we came in on Monday, we looked at how many chances we created and the positions we are getting in.

“We are playing well, there is no doubt about it.

“If we keep playing as well as we are we will win more games than we lose.”