'Proud moment' young goalkeepers sign on with Brighton

Brighton & Hove Albion under-18s goalkeepers Rocco Rees and Fynn Talley have both signed their first professional contracts.

Brighton and Hove Albion FC
Brighton and Hove Albion FC

Rees joined the Seagulls at under-12 level from Portsmouth, progressing through the ranks. He spent time on loan at Isthmian League Premier Division Worthing last season.

“I am happy to get it done because it’s taken a long time because of the coronavirus situation. It’s a proud moment, but hopefully just the start,” he said.

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“Going out on loan was a really good experience –men’s football gives you a good education at that level and it puts your name on the map a little.

“It was really good for my development. You learn a different side of the game compared to academy football. You play against men and get roughed up a bit when corners and balls come into the box. It’s a bit different to what you’re used to but you need to learn and I really enjoyed it.”

Looking to the future, Rees would like to further his experiences with another loan spell. “I would like keep learning and getting my name out there and gaining more experience,” he added.

Talley was signed by the club from Arsenal in 2017 and he too went on loan to Isthmian League South East Division outfit Burgess Hill Town.

He said, “It’s really exciting to sign my first professional contract. It’s a proud moment for me and my family and I am thankful to them for supporting me and driving me to all sorts of places over the years.

“It’s been a massive change since I moved from Arsenal, but I have been really enjoying my football. I’ve made a lot of progress in these past few years. I’ve improved in a lot of other areas as well. I have had a lot of specific goalkeeping training which has made a real difference to me.

“I hope to get a couple of appearances for the under-23s next season. I have been on the bench a couple of times but I didn’t get on. I really enjoyed my loan spell this year and I want to go out again next season, I felt like I got a lot out of the experience.”