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Thread: Max Sanders

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    Max Sanders


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    If ever an Albion youngster deserved his own thread, it is surely Max Sanders, who gets his initial first-team involvement when named as a substitute for an FA Cup quarter-final against Manchester United at Old Trafford. I applaud Chris Hughton for including Max in the squad (of course, injuries played a big part in Sanders' inclusion in the 18, I'm sure, with Dale Stephens, Steve Sidwell, Jayson Molumby and Des Hutchinson all currently out of action, but such is the way of football).

    So who is Max Sanders?




    Max Harrison Sanders was born on January 4 1999 in Crawley. He attended Tanbridge House School in Horsham. He joined the Brighton and Hove Albion academy at the age of eight and developed through the age groups. He had his first involvement with the Albion U-18 side during his U-15 schoolboy season when he was named as a substitute for the fixture against Milwall on March 15 2014.

    That same season, 2013-14, he was a member of the Albion U-15 squad who became national champions by beating Derby, Crewe and Brentford in May at Warwick University to win the Premier League Academy Category Two Final. Sanders scored the winning goal in the final. He had impressed the Albion coaching staff sufficiently to be offered his scholarship a full 12 months before it commenced.

    In Sanders' U-16 season of 2014-15 he broke his toe in a pre-season tournament in Denmark, keeping him out for 3 months, but upon his return made 7 appearances for the U-18s. He commenced his two-year scholarship in the summer of 2015 (the same age group as Luis Garcia, Jayson Molumby and Danny Mandroiu).




    Sanders scored his first Albion goal when he netted for the U-18s against Southampton on January 16 2016. That was his only goal in 27 appearances for the U-18s in 2015-16. His first involvement with the U-23s (or U-21s as it was then) came on December 7 2015 when he was an unused substitute at Swansea City. He made his debut as a sub against Newcastle United on March 23 2016 and had a second sub appearance against Blackburn 12 days later.

    Sanders found his scoring boots in 2016-17 when he netted 6 goals in 17 appearances at U-18 level. He also scored on his full debut for the U-23s, netting in a 3-0 victory over Hailsham Town in the second round of the Sussex Senior Cup on November 9 2016. He scored again at Pagham in the next round as he made 6 appearances for the U-23s in 2016-17. His dad was able to read about Max's exploits in the Albion matchday programme, before anyone else could, as he worked for Bishops who took on the printing of the programme in 2016-17.

    This season, Sanders has been an integral member of the U-23 squad, being named on the teamsheet for all but two of the matches before today. He has also contributed 5 goals. NSC correspondent @KZN Seagull went to watch the U-23s win at Middlesbrough a week ago and this was his view of Sanders:-

    Quote Originally Posted by KZNSeagull View Post
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    ... We scored with our first chance, a fantastic cross from the right from Sanders over the defence was knocked back by Bjordal for Gyokeres to slot it into the corner past the keeper. Easy Peasy.

    We scored from our second chance - another through ball from Sanders was chased down by Gyokeres who was actually fouled on the edge of the box, but the ball ran loose, the ref played on Bjordal slotted home past the keeper.


    Sanders - Excellent player. Ran the show. Always seems to have space, looks for the forward pass but not afraid to keep things simple either.

    Standout players for me were Big Victor, Sanders, ...
    And so, with injuries to a number of midfield players in front of him, 19-year-old Max Sanders was today named as a substitute for Albion's 3rd-ever FA Cup quarter-final. He wasn't to get onto the pitch but he did get the chance to warm-up alongside one or two household names:-




    Congratulations to the lad, and hopefully he gets a chance to make his Albion first-team debut in the not-too distant future.

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