Carl Rushworth has targeted an England under-21 debut.

And he would relish training with Albion at the end of a busy League Two season.

The highly-regarded young goalkeeper is enjoying the spotlight on loan at Walsall and helped them to a 1-0 win at arch rivals Port Vale last night.

He has also been called in for England under-21s this season as a late replacement.

Rushworth has been building himself up in the gym and enjoying the physical challenge of the fourth tier.

Walsall’s season ends 15 days before Albion’s so, if they do not make the play-offs, there will be scope to train back at Lancing.

He said: “I’d be happy to keep playing week in and week out, get a solid 40-odd games in this season.

“Then maybe look to play and challenge the No.1 at England.

“It was a really proud moment for me to be called into the 21s.

“The next step is to keep trying to get called up and push for the No.1 spot and get some game time and make my debut for them.

“And maybe at the end of the season get down to Brighton, have a few training sessions there and just show my face again.

“I think that’s something Brighton want as well.

“It’s not like I’ve been pushed out on loan and kind of forgotten “That’s what Brighton are massive on.”

Rushworth has set his own challenges in League Two including the physical element.

But he also relishes other aspects of the game as played by Albion – and the Saddlers under boss Matty Taylor.

He said: “A big think I wanted to work in was dealing with the physical side of the league.

“Because I have been exposed to it and working on it with (Walsall goalkeeping coach) Maik Taylor, I’ve been progressing. You can see that.

“It has given me confidence to come and take more balls.

“Just playing each week is massive for me.

“Each league you go to is going be challenging in different ways.

“What’s good about Walsall is they want to play a similar way to Brighton.

“They want to play football.


“That’s something that Brighton looked into when we were looking around for a loan.

“That’s why it has been perfect for me.”

Rushworth does not expect this season to always be a bed of roses.

But he says dealing with the tough times will again be key to his development.

He said: “I think it’s normal with footballers, especially being a goalkeeper, that there will always be ups and downs.

“It’s how you kick on from that.

“At my age as well, I’m going to make mistakes and there are going to be ups and downs.

“I’m kind of glad I got exposed to it as early as I can so I know how to deal with it and how I go forward from that.

“I’d say overall it has been positive.”