Albion's youngsters have been urged to take their chance tonight– against the League Two leaders.

Ecuador international Jeremy Sarmiento is among the players who will be missing for the under-21s as they visit Forest Green in their delayed Papa John’s Trophy group fixture (7pm).

The game was called off an hour before scheduled kick-off two weeks ago due to a waterlogged pitch.

Andy Moran, Evan Ferguson and Marc Leonard are also on international duty while Gary Dicker was sent off in the opening fixture, at Walsall, and serves a ban.

That 1-0 defeat by the Saddlers means the young Seagulls could do with some reward to keep alive hopes of qualification.

Albion boss Andrew Crofts believes they should relish the challenge.

He said: “Every game brings another opportunity for someone to impress, an opportunity to express themselves.


“Hopefully they enjoy it and more importantly learn from the evening.

“They will be up against guys who will have a little more nous, with a different style.

“Forest Green can mix it up, they can play it short or direct with two strikers.

“That has obviously worked really well for Forest Green in the league.”

The unique surroundings of the New Lawn in the Gloucestershire countryside might offer some context for the young Seagulls as to how quickly life can change with hard work and talent.

It was the footballing home three seasons ago of Robert Sanchez, Albion’s current first choice goalkeeper who is back home after his trip to the San Siro for the UEFA Nations League final four with Spain.