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Simon Rusk, manager of Brighton & Hove Albion under-23s

Rusk prepares his young side for Community Shield challenge

Brighton & Hove Albion preview ahead of the Sussex Community Shield

The Sussex Community Shield in aid of Chestnut Tree House is due to take place on Tuesday 7 August between Brighton & Hove Albion and Haywards Heath Town.

Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Haywards Heath Town 
Sussex Community Shield in aid of Chestnut Tree House
Date: Tuesday 7 August 2018
Kick-off: 7:30pm
Venue: Sussex County FA HQ, Culver Road, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 9AX

Simon Rusk, manager of Brighton & Hove Albion under-23s is preparing his side for their opening competitive fixture of the season against Southern Combination Football League champions, Haywards Heath Town. 

Rusk’s young squad cemented a place in the Sussex Community Shield after beating Crawley Town 2-1 in the prestigious Sussex Senior Challenge Cup final back in May: “It was good for the group to win that game - it’s a competition we always want to do well in, particularly because the final is at the Amex.

“It was really enjoyable to get the win on the night and set up this game against Haywards Heath,” he said.

The Seagulls recently returned from a beneficial four day pre-season training camp in Portugal where they came up against SC Braga B in their opening friendly, and upon their return faced Bostik Premier Division side Bognor Regis Town where they lost 2-1.

More recently, in preparation for their new start in the Premier League 2 Division 1, they came up against Charlton and Fulham under-23s and Rusk is pleased with his sides’ progress thus far: “We had the victory against Charlton, which was a really good workout for the players. 

“We then had a tough game against Fulham, and there were so many changes in the match that it probably affected the flow.

“It was a good test, more minutes in the bank and another step closer to our first game of the season against Liverpool."

The Albion boss knows that Tuesday night will come with its challenges and believes it will be a good test for his team: “Even though the game is against lower league opposition, I expect a very committed team. Most non-league sides have some talented boys who just didn’t quite reach the levels needed.

“We’ll probably be a little bit younger on the night but it’s a great challenge for the lads.”

Brighton are current holders of the Sussex Community Shield after an emphatic 7-0 victory over Shoreham last August and Rusk’s full focus now lies on retaining it for a consecutive season: “It’s our next game and we’ll want to win the match and do our best. We’ll try to apply all of the principles that we think are important in that game.

“We certainly won’t be taking our eye off the ball in preparation for the match." 

Entry prices for the Sussex Community Shield in aid of Chestnut Tree House are as follows:

£6.00 Adult (17+)
£3.00 Concession (65+ and students with valid student ID card)
£1.00 Child (16 and under)

For further details about the Sussex Community Shield please contact Competitions:

Competitions
T: 01903 753547
E: Competitions@SussexFA.com