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Brighton & Sussex CCC assessed

No doubt about it – this has been Brighton HAFC ‘s most successful season in our history finishing sixth and qualifying for the Europa League.

The achievement is all the more remarkable for the departure of key personnel on and off the pitch.

Much credit must go to owner Tony Bloom and his number two Graham Barber who always seem to have a Plan B to cover a loss.

We may well now lose Alex Mac Alister and Moises Caicedo, but someone – probably a young South American – will step up to the plate.

I would not be at all surprised too if they are looking at options for Head Coach Roberto de Zerbi whose success and playing style has not gone unnoticed.

Pep Guardiola is a keen de Zerbi admirer who might annoint him as his successor; no one seems to want the Spurs job; de Zerbi’s style of play would surely interest West Ham where David Moyes is not that popular and might be less so by this time next week if the Hammers lose the Conference League final to Fiorentina.

Brighton have another huge advantage – they are not weighed down by expectation like say Tottenham.

Survival is the name of the games and Brighton now contemplate their seventh season in the top flight.

Thursday night Europa League football is not as matter of derision for Brighton fans but rather an opportunity to pit the team’s wits against some of Europe’s leading clubs.

I recall a pre-season friendly against Atletico Madrid when Brighton were out-played.

I watched the Final last night between Sevilla and Roma which was ruined as a spectacle by the gamesmanship of both teams exaggerating injuries from fouls and pestering the referee at every opportunity.

There is nothing to fear there if we keep our heads.

It’s the beginning of the season for Sussex CCC and the Sharks in the T20.

In the Championship, rotten weather and Glamorgan’s reluctance to make a game of it has ended in many draws.

Post-Covid most of the first team were let go (Ben Brown, Luke Wells, Danny Briggs, Laurie Evans, Chris Jordan and Phil Salt) and replaced by a younger group finding their feet under new Head Coach Paul Farbrace and 35 year old skipper Chet Pujara.

In the T20 the Sharks lost at home to Somerset in a game in which Ravi Bopara scored half our runs and overseas players Shabib Khan and Nathaniel Mc Andrew had a hideous collision.

Both were unavailable against high-performing Surrey but the Sharks won at the Oval. So here too the signs are encouraging.

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About Ivan Conway

Ivan Conway will be reporting on Sussex sport. He is a member of the 1901 club at Brighton HAFC, Sussex County Cricket Club and an enthusiastic horse race goer. After selling his freight forwarding and conference business he settled in Hove. His other interests are bird watching, brass rubbing and bridge. More Posts