DALE’S TALE IS PREMIER LEAGUE BOUND
DALE Stephens says he first signed for Brighton with the express aim of playing in the Premier League – and he’s delighted that dream is set to become a reality.
The 27-year-old midfielder has signed a new four-year contract with the Seagulls after helping them to a second-place finish in the Championship and promotion to the top flight for the first time since 1983.
Stephens initially joined Brighton from Charlton in January 2014.
He insists that helping to bring Premier League football to Sussex was on his mind from the off.
“I came to this football club expecting to get promoted in the first few years,” said Stephens, who made 39 appearances for the Seagulls this term, scoring two goals.
“It’s taken a bit longer than I would’ve thought, but here we are as a Premier League side and I want to be a part of that and achieve things here.
“Once we found out we were going to play our football in the Premier League next season, it wasn’t a case of me moving on.
“I realised I could achieve what I wanted to here, and I am very much looking forward to next season.”
Stephens added: “We know it’s going to be tough and I think the target next season will be to stay in the Premier League.
“We’ll all be looking forward to it and can’t wait to get started.
“I don’t think it will hit home properly until we do see the fixtures.
“I know it’s done and dusted and the season has finished, but when you see the games coming up that’s when you see we are a Premier League side.
“We’re going to enjoy it and it will be nice to get one of the big teams at home first up.”
EXCITED: Dale Stephens