Solly March has been one of Brighton’s star players this season, starting all eight Premier League matches.

However, the 24 year old winger could have been playing against the Seagulls if things had worked out differently.

When he was 17 and playing for non-league Lewes, and is school team, Solly March was invited up for a trial at Newcastle United.

He got the train up to Tyneside with his agent and his dad but ended up not even joining in with training due to feeling ill, probably due to nerves.

The young winger ending up on a train back home to the south coast without ever stepping on the training pitch.

A few months later Solly March ended up signing for Brighton and the rest is history.

The winger made 25 appearances when Brighton finished runners-up to Newcastle in the Championship, then 36 last season as Chris Hughton’s team comfortably stayed in the Premier League.

However, those seasons were a mixture of starting and coming off the bench, only this season has he been a regular starter every week.

As for today’s match, Solly March reckons ‘Newcastle are probably a better side than what they have shown’ but still thinks it is a ‘good chance’ for Brighton to get their first Premier League away win in 11 months.

Solly March speaking to The Argus:

“I was just playing for Lewes and the school, there was contact and talks of getting somewhere and clubs interested.

“I travelled up (to Newcastle United) with my dad and Rob (agent Robert Codner).

“We got the train up, it was a long journey and then I just ended up coming home.

“I was ill. Maybe it was nerves, probably a lot of things played a part.

“I got to the training ground, just about. I watched training. I wasn’t in a state to train so I thought I had better not, it’s not going to make me look good.

“We called it a day and went back home. It has worked out now (at Brighton), so maybe it was a little blessing in disguise.

“Living up there (in Newcastle) at that age (17), for me it would have been hard to move away with people I didn’t know.

“That is the type of person I am, so I think it was a good thing.”

Solly March speaking about today’s match:

“Newcastle are probably a better side than what they’ve shown, especially from watching them in their last game against Manchester United.

“They would have been disappointed to not come away with three points. Man United weren’t at their best in the first half and came back late, but they can take motivation from that.

“An away point isn’t a bad result, but it’s a chance for us to get three points.

“Newcastle are probably not in the most confident state at the moment, so we need to go there and put them under pressure.

“It’s a good atmosphere, especially when the fans get behind the team. But it probably works the other way as well, if we put them under pressure and keep the ball, they’ll get frustrated and perhaps turn on the team.

“Newcastle away is a good chance to get points. Hopefully we can frustrate them and stay in the game for as long as we can.

“Maybe we need to be more positive, especially in the games against teams in and around us. If we can get one away win, hopefully they’ll start coming after that.”

  • Pezza

    I can see this as a Stand off with both managers being negative and trying to ‘stay in the game’ . We need to remove the shackles go at them for the first 15 and then play possession.

    It sounds like Solly March would have drowned at Nufc.

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    • Ram Kishore

      I suppose only the local kids from the northeast can stay afloat in the academy

      • Pezza

        That did sound a little insular, it wasn’t meant to be. Growing up in the home counties and at 17 he may just have found Newcastle life a bit of a challenge, that’s not to say kids from overseas don’t find it equally daunting but it’s easier to find your way in homely Brighton,

    • BanJones

      I hope you have advised Rafa of your tactical plan, after engaging my brain I realised he probably doesn’t need your tactical advice what with him being a multiple winner in the pro game.

      • Pezza

        If you care to read both the article and my post, you can comment again.

        • BanJones


          • Pezza

            The article had the BHA player pointing out that Brighton will attempt to stay in the game, i.e. they will not go for it. Much like Houghton’s Nufc side played.

            As it turned out, I was bang on as ever.

          • BanJones

            Wow, do you think that bears sh*t in the woods and that in your opinion the Pope might be a Catholic, any ideas on the lottery numbers tonight genius?

          • Pezza

            I get the feeling that I’ll never get to the stage of debating the finer points of Pythagoras’ theorem with you.

  • mentalman

    This has got all the makings of one of rafa’s must not lose games so we’ll sit back and try and soak up Brightons attack until we concede a late goal and have left it too late to score

    • Viru leckworth

      Always look on the bright side of life.

    • Pezza

      Luckily, away from home, Houghton is more negative than Rafa.