Changing fortunes for players of the Amex era

Five players in the starting line-up for the opening game at the Amex are still at the Albion
Five players in the starting line-up for the opening game at the Amex are still at the Albion

It is just over four years since Brighton and Hove Albion played their first game at the Amex Stadium.

It is just over four years since Brighton and Hove Albion played their first game at the Amex Stadium and the squad has changed hugely in that time.

Of the team that started that game against Doncaster Rovers in August 2011, it is perhaps surprising - considering the amount of comings and goings since - that five of the players who were in the starting line-up that day are still at the club.

Goalkeeper Casper Ankergren is now third-choice keeper and has played just eight times in the past three seasons.

Club captain Gordon Greer remains an intergral part of the side and Lewis Dunk recently signed a new five-year contract with the Seagulls.

Fans' favourite Inigo Calderon also started the Doncaster match and is still part of the squad, as well as winger Kazenga LuaLua, who has made an outstanding start to the current campaign.

Of the rest of that team, there have been varying degrees of success since leaving Brighton.

Left-back Marcos Painter is now retired, after making 17 appearances for Portsmouth in the 2013-14 season.

Matt Sparrow left the Seagulls in 2012 and returned to his former club Scunthorpe, following a loan spell at Crawley, but is now with National League side Lincoln City.

His midfield team-mate that day, Gary Dicker, is now plying his trade with League Two Carlisle, while Liam Bridcutt moved upwards to join Premier League Sunderland, but has had limited success and is yet to make an appearance this season.

Ashley Barnes, a Marmite figure with Brighton fans, helped Burnley win promotion into the Premier League after moving on from the Amex in January last year.

He scored five goals in 35 Premier League appearances for Burnley last season, before he suffered a knee ligament injury in the final game of the season and is set to miss most of this campaign.

Up front on that day in 2011 was Craig Mackail-Smith. The hard-working popular striker found the back of the net 24 times for the Seagulls during an injury-hit four years. After being released in the summer, he now plays for League Two Luton.

On the bench that day against Doncaster were Peter Brezovan, Romain Vincelot, Alan Navarro, Craig Noone, and Will Buckley.

Noone still plays in the Championship for Cardiff; Buckley is at Sunderland - although, like Bridcutt, is yet to make an appearance for the Black Cats this season; and Vincelot is now with League One Coventry.

Brezovan was released by Tranmere at the end of last season, while Navarro was forced to retire last year.