Dunk: We've come a long way since I started

Lewis Dunk. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Lewis Dunk. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Defender Lewis Dunk never thought he would play for Brighton in the Premier League when he started his career with the club.

Dunk made his debut for the Seagulls in League One in May, 2010, when Albion finished 13th, before he made eight appearances as Brighton were promoted into the Championship in their final season at the Withdean Stadium in 2010/11.

The 26-year-old had a brief loan spell in 2013 with Bristol City, where he made three appearances, but he has been virtually an ever-present for the Seagulls since 2014 and has played 228 times for the club.

At the club's annual Players' Awards on Thursday, Dunk was named the players' player of the season - chosen by the first-team squad - for their first ever Premier League season.

Dunk has captained the club several times in the top-flight this season. On playing in the Premier League for his hometown club, he said: "I never thought it would happen in the Premier League but the club has obviously come a long, long way since I started.

"In League One at Withdean I made my debut, so I've come up two divisions and now I'm this amazing stadium and at the training ground.

"I never thought it would happen but it's a joy all the time."

Dunk beat Dale Stephens to win the players' player award and said: "Thanks to all the boys, it's obviously a great honour to get this award.

"It probably means the most. I'm playing out there every week with the boys and they think I'm doing the job, so I'm very proud."