It is 34 years because Brighton contested a League fixture in Manchester United, a 1-1 draw in March 1983. Two months after, United beat Brighton 4-0 in the FA Cup final replay.
Times have changed, however Chris Hughton’s current side travel to Old Trafford on Saturday in buoyant mood.
According to Brighton winger Solly March, the reason they have risen to ninth at the Premier League within their first season back in the airport is simple. They have no fear. The opportunity to play at an ‘iconic’ arena like Old Trafford is you to grab.
Winger Solly March says Brighton are playing with ‘no fear’ in the Premier League
March, a 23-year-old born and raised at Eastbourne, explains: ‘We have got nothing to lose’
‘We have got nothing to lose,’ says the 23-year-old, raised and born at Eastbourne. ‘Let’s visit Manchester United. Let’s try to find something out of it. Why not? They are not likely to know what to anticipate. They most likely don’t know a lot about people.
‘There isn’t any point fearing anyone, it’s pointless. We have worked really hard, now let us see what happens.
‘Old Trafford is probably the most iconic arena. It is a huge club, the largest on the planet. Everyone is looking ahead. Every participant you look at there is a household name. It was a huge step up from the Championship but everyone is enjoying it again. We’re only trying to take it in our stride and also impress folks.’
This was March who scored the winner against Wigan Athletic that supported Brighton’s promotion into the Premier League last year. The left-footer then aided Pascal Gross for their first top-flight target since May 1983.
Seagulls wideman March has been in good form this year Together with the rest of his group
March said he is extremely happy at Brighton because he is playing in the Premier League
Season at a glance
- Premier League
- Premier League
- League One
- League 2
- Scottish Premiership
- Scottish Div 1
- Scottish Div 2
- Scottish Div 3
- Ligue 1
- Serie A
- La Liga
‘Two good goals,’ he says, smiling. ‘I will take that.’ Nevertheless March could easily have been enjoying 350 miles north Newcastle instead of Brighton.
In 2011, if Alan Pardew was boss at St James’ Park, the child was encouraged for a trial. He passed on his approach into training.
‘I really don’t know what happened,’ continues March, who had been with non-League Lewes in the Moment. ‘ I really don’t know if it was nerve wracking. It was odd. I didn’t wind up coaching, I came back down.’
That opportunity was missed and that there was a subsequent offer from Millwall, however if Brighton arrived calling, March did not wait. His father, Steve, has been an apprentice for the south coast club in the late 1980s.
March explained: ‘It is perfect. It had been the ideal option. At the moment, I’m happy at Brighton, playing in the Premier League, playing against the top sides in the world.
‘Eden Hazard and Alexis Sanchez are gamers who look at and think, “That is where I wish to be” — the top level. You’ve got to aim as large as possible. There is no point planning low because then you will only become reduced.’
March is hard and would like to play England. He explained: ‘Perform nicely and you never know’
Before getting a footballer, March was a No 4 batsman for Hellingly Cricket Club at East Sussex.
At school, while also about the books of Crystal Palace and commuting into London four times each week for coaching, ” he played with prospective cricket professionals including West Indies batsman Shai Hope and Luke Wells of Sussex.
‘I had been half-decent,’ says March. ‘However, I always wanted to make it as a footballer. I wasn’t good enough because a cricketer. I enjoyed it more than anything. I went to Australia for its 2006-07 Ashes.
‘I had been in the Boxing Day match at the MCG. We lost the series 5-0 but it was a fantastic experience. It is a different kind of air to football.’
March celebrates scoring his side’s first goal in the Premier League fixture using Bournemouth
March will attempt to keep up to see a number of the recent Ashes series, but only if the training program fits in.
The winger also harbours hopes of a senior England call-up daily, with nominated for the Under 21s in a 4-0 win over Denmark past March. Ruben Loftus-Cheek scored double that day too, and Joe Gomez and Tammy Abraham also looked.
All three were at Gareth Southgate’s senior England side who drew 0-0 with Brazil recently. ‘It shows that, especially with Gareth as manager now, there is a pathway into the England first team in case you’re playing nicely,’ March says. ‘It is a motivation, actually, 100 percent motivation.
‘You wish to play England. That’s the ultimate aim as a British footballer. You wish to play with. You’ve got to work towards it. Play nicely and you will never know.’
March and his team-mates will visit Old Trafford in a buoyant disposition with Brighton in ninth Location