Sanchez: Joining Brighton is the best decision I've made

Young Albion keeper Robert Sanchez says he is improving all the time while training with the first team in Austria this week.

Wednesday, 12th July 2017, 11:30 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 4:16 am
Robert Sanchez in Austria. Picture by Paul Hazlewood/BHAFC
Robert Sanchez in Austria. Picture by Paul Hazlewood/BHAFC

The 19-year-old joined the Seagulls from Levante aged 15 and says the move was the best decision he has made.

A goalkeeper since he was aged just four, Sanchez is highly-rated and hopes to become Brighton's number one in years to come.

Talking about the training camp in Leogang, Austria, he said: "It's a big experience. You cannot compare training with the youth team and going with the first team.

"The improvement, the experience of the players, it's another level. You improve much quicker and they are really good lads. It's a great honour to be with them, a really good opportunity to show to the coaches how good you can be."

Looking back on his move to the Albion, the shot-stopper said: "It was a really big decision. I was 15, at school, at home with my mother and father, but I think it has been a good decision."The first year was hard, a different language, being alone. You don't understand anything, so it's harder.

"The football is different here, everything, but after a year I got used to it and it's better than I expected. You grow up much quicker when you are alone in a different culture.

"I was expecting to stay in Spain. There were a couple of offers. I didn't know anything about Brighton (interest) until three or four weeks before I came here. It was a big surprise. When I knew I was going to play in England I was so happy.

"After three years I think it's the best decision I've ever made. The difference between three years ago and now, my mentality, improvement, the football, even outside of football - it's amazing. The coaches have helped me so much as well and when I was in digs with a family they were really kind."

Sanchez has always played in goal and said: "When I was playing with friends at school, I was always the goalkeeper. I don't know why, maybe I'm a bit crazy because no one likes to be a goalie.

"I started off being a goalie at four years old, so it's been 15 years already. When you're four, five, six you're just playing but when I started playing seriously, aged 11 I think, I knew I really loved being a goalie."

The 19-year-old is learning all the time, training with Albion's first team keepers, and said: "I worked with Stocko (David Stockdale) last season and Niki Maenpaa. They're big, big experienced people and I don't think anyone else can show you more than them.

"They're great keepers to work with, they're ten or 11 years older, so they can teach me many things that maybe I don't know.

"And the coach (Ben Roberts), always, every day, teaches me something new that I didn't know. He's great and the improvement you can do with these people is massive.

"The first two years I felt like I improved but the biggest improvement was last season. I had consistent games, and was training with the first team and the under-23s."

With the Seagulls preparing for their first campaign in the Premier League, Sanchez is unsure what the season will have in store for him: "At the moment I'll see how it goes with the first team and the under-23's when I go back. I'll try to play the most games I can this year, let's see if I go on loan or stay here. Let's see if in a couple of years I can make it.

"At the moment I know until Christmas I am going to be here. After Christmas I don't know yet. Maybe there will be a chance to go on loan, I don't know yet."

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