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HomeSportBrighton plan convinced me over rivals - Ferguson

Brighton plan convinced me over rivals – Ferguson

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Evan Ferguson scored six goals in 19 Premier League appearances last seasonWhile some of his old school friends back home in Bettystown are trying to work out what to do next now their studies have come to an end, for Evan Ferguson, the pathway is clear.At 18, the Brighton striker already has a contract that runs to 2028 and a secure place in Roberto De Zerbi’s squad as the Seagulls look to match last season’s stellar achievements.Ferguson’s rise is as startling as his club’s.A campaign that started with an EFL Cup appearance at Forest Green and featured three EFL Trophy appearances for Brighton’s Under-21 side ended with 10 goals for the senior team, a Republic of Ireland debut and predictions he could one day be as good as England captain Harry Kane.Not that such plaudits bother Ferguson too much – he is as laid back as they come.”When you are in it and you have that many games to play and that many things to concentrate on, you get lost in what you are doing,” he said.”I wouldn’t say I was nervous. When you are training, you are always wanting to play, so when you get the opportunity, you have to be ready and fortunately I did well.”It is testament to Ferguson’s youth that the story of Brighton’s ascent from the bottom of League Two to European qualification for the first time in their history largely goes over his head.”I was always coming over [to England] for trials,” said Ferguson, who started out at the St Kevin’s boys club in Dublin before moving on to League of Ireland side Bohemians. “I came to Brighton and thought ‘that’s the club for me’.”It was the people and the fact they showed a pathway – it made me feel as though it was the right club. “I know some of the players have gone through the different leagues and stuff like that but I have only known Brighton being in the Premier League.”‘De Zerbi strives for perfection’Brighton finished sixth last season, their highest ever league finish. They also reached the FA Cup semi-final, where they were the better team, only for them to lose to Manchester United on penalties.Bettering that achievement will not be easy as, once more, they are having to cope with the loss of key players.World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister has joined Liverpool and uncertainty remains over the future of midfielder Moises Caicedo, with Brighton already turning down a succession of bids from Chelsea for the Ecuador international.But De Zerbi has spent money too, bringing in Joao Pedro Watford for a club record fee of just under £30m, as well as experienced midfielder James Milner, former Fiorentina defender Igor Julio and Dutch goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen from Anderlecht.”You always try to beat your previous year,” said Ferguson. “That is the way it needs to be. “The manager strives for perfection. He is passionate and loves what he is doing.”The way we play as well, you have to be tuned in. You have to know everyone’s position. As a striker, you have to do a few more different things which you might not have to do for a different team. But that is good. It gives you extra knowledge.”And as for his mates?”I keep in touch with them,” he said. “A few of them finished [exams] a few weeks ago. I don’t think some of them even know what they are doing. We shall wait and see.”

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