Tommy Elphick has welcomed extra competition at the heart of Albion's defence from Colin Hawkins.

Micky Adams made Coventry centre-half Hawkins his first signing of the summer following his re-appointment as manager.

Reigning player of the season Elphick is hoping to establish a partnership with the Irish newcomer.

He said: "Colin's obviously not coming in for cover, so there will be competition and hopefully I can have a season playing with him. It's a healthy thing. If you look at the squad on paper that finished the season now Butts (Guy Butters) has gone, there was only me and Joel (Lynch) and Adam El-Abd so that was one area where we did need to get some more players in."

Elphick is looking forward to working with Adams following the removal of Dean Wilkins as manager at the start of May and his rejection last week of a coaching role.

Adams has already mentioned the Brighton-born youth team product as future captaincy material.

"It is one of the things which will help me in my second full season," Elphick said. "Now we have got a new manager it is a fresh start and a clean slate for everyone.

"I have got to look to prove myself to him now. I've had a chat with him and he's looking to get us out of the division as quickly as possible.

"For me it is a positive move, but I am sad to see Dean go."

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