Hughton 'really pleased' after Deise duo start in Brighton's midfield

“Everybody has just been blown away by me and Dessie because we’re from the same place.”

AFC Bournemouth v Brighton and Hove Albion - Carabao Cup - Third Round - Vitality Stadium Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton at last night's game against Bournemouth. Source: Steven Paston

THERE WAS A strong Waterford presence in the Brighton & Hove Albion side that played Bournemouth in the third round of the Carabao Cup last night.

In a meeting of two Premier League clubs, Brighton started with young Waterford pair Jayson Molumby and Dessie Hutchinson in their midfield at the Vitality Stadium.

Despite their side’s 1-0 defeat following an extra-time goal from Joshua King, both Molumby and Hutchinson played all 120 minutes and acquitted themselves well.

The game marked a first-team debut for 20-year-old Hutchinson, but 18-year-old Molumby had already featured in the second-round win against Barnet.

“Jayson Molumby was with us in the last round, but with Dessie [Hutchinson], it was his first inclusion in the squad. It was a tough day, with the quality that Bournemouth have got, but I was really pleased for both of them,” Brighton’s manager, former Ireland full-back Chris Hughton, told the club’s official website.

“It’s an important part of the game. When I first came to the club, it was something that was stressed upon me — how they value the academy that we have. Hence why the chairman and owner provided us with the facility that we have at the training ground, where it’s not just first-team orientated, it’s about developing and bringing players through.”

Cappoquin native Molumby was nominated for the FAI’s U17 International Player of the Year award for 2016, which was eventually won by West Ham’s Declan Rice. Hutchinson, an international at U19 level, was a promising hurler with local club Ballygunner before leaving for the south coast of England in the summer of 2015.

After last night’s game, Molumby said: “You work hard every day in the U23s and U18s to be given that opportunity in the first team by the gaffer and the club. For him to show trust in myself and Dessie is brilliant, because it means a lot to us.

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AFC Bournemouth v Brighton and Hove Albion - Carabao Cup - Third Round - Vitality Stadium Bournemouth's Jordon Ibe under pressure from Brighton's Dessie Hutchinson. Source: Steven Paston

“I know Dessie very well, we go way back and he’s from the same county in Ireland as me. I train with him every day and play with him most matchdays for the U23s, so we’ve got a good understanding.”

Regarding the attention he has received from back home, Molumby added: “It’s been very good. Everybody has just been blown away by me and Dessie because we’re from the same place. It’s a big deal for any young Irish lad coming over, so I just want to do them proud and do my best.

“I knew that it was a very good opportunity here, because they like young players and have a great academy for them to progress. The Irish connection was a big factor too with all the Irish boys here, and John Morling, the academy manager, was a big influence.”

While an appearance in a League Cup game in September can be a long way from featuring regularly in the Premier League, it’s encouraging nevertheless to see such progress at a time when the number of Irish lads playing at the highest level for their clubs has become worryingly low.

AFC Bournemouth v Brighton and Hove Albion - Carabao Cup - Third Round - Vitality Stadium Jayson Molumby in possession for Brighton while fending off a challenge from Bournemouth's Lewis Cook. Source: Steven Paston

“All I am focused on is doing my best and not looking too far ahead of myself,” Molumby said. “It’s very early and I’ve only played two games for the first team, so I need to keep working hard and do my best. Hopefully that [league debut] might happen in the future.”

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