Brighton captain Bruno still to decide on his post-career plan B

Bruno admits he is unsure what his future holds when his playing career comes to an end.

Thursday, 20th September 2018, 12:36 pm
Updated Thursday, 20th September 2018, 12:43 pm
Bruno speaking at the Albion in the Comminity Albion Goals programme earlier this week. Picture by Stuart Butcher

The 37-year-old has been with Albion for seven seasons, making 218 appearances.

He captained the club in the promotion-winning campaign from the Championship and says it’s difficult to see the end of his career approaching.

Bruno started the opening-day defeat at Watford this season but was forced off with a hamstring injury after only 20 minutes. He returned to the squad for Monday’s 2-2 draw at Southampton and says he is going to make sure he takes in every moment on the football pitch and training ground.

Bruno pictured with the participants of Albion in the Communitys Albion Goals programme. Picture by Stuart Butcher

Asked how much longer he can carry on playing, Bruno said: “I don’t know, I am just trying to enjoy every day, every single training session, every game, because I know it could be the last one.

“It is difficult for me sometimes, seeing the end is really close. I’ve never had a plan B and to be honest, that’s one of my problems. I’ve always been really focused on my career playing football. It’s going to be difficult.

“I love learning, reading, listening. I am going to try to get a lot of information when I’m retired and from there we will move on.”

Albion have already made it clear they would like Bruno to take on another role at the club when he retires and he already does a lot of work for Albion in the Community, along with various other charity work locally and back home in Spain. On staying involved with the club, Bruno said: “They know I love the club, they know I love the city.

“For me, it would be really good but I want to feel useful as well. We will try to find a way.”

As for a future in coaching or managing, Bruno is not as adverse to the idea as he once was. Former Albion team-mates Steve Sidwell and Liam Rosenior are now involved with coaching at the club’s academy and Bruno said: “To be honest, a few years ago I said no, 100 per cent.

“Right now I would say maybe, but coaching has changed a lot from a few years ago to now. The amount of hours they spend and the amout of things they do, you need to have that passion to do it.

“If not, if you look at the bigger picture, it’s going to be a waste of time. If I’ve got that passion to do it, I will be really happy. I love coaching but I need to see really clear that I’m ready to spend that amount of hours to do it properly.

“I have to take that decision when I retire. I’ve been so focused just on my career that I haven’t had time. Being a footballer, being a husband, being a father, it’s been enough.”

Bruno has two children and his son, Pol, plays for his school and Hove Rivervale. But Albion's captain admits he would prefer for Pol, a goalkeeper, not to follow him into the professional game.

He said: "My advice is to encourage him not to be a professional.

"It's a really tough career, there's not too many that make it.

"Of course we've got a nice life and one we like but sometimes there's a lot more things and it's not easy.

"I don't know, maybe I would prefer to see him do other things."

Bruno spoke at an Albion in the Community Albion Goals programme earlier this week. He attended the second day of a two-day life skills, confidence and employability course.

Albion Goals receives funding from Common Goal, an initiative which sees football players, managers and supporters pledge to donate at least one per cent of their wages to help high-impact football charities.

Bruno is one of the Common Goal players and said: “I’ve been doing charities almost since I became a professional footballer.

“I’ve been lucky because my dad is a doctor and he’s been going to Africa for the past 25 years. I’ve been seeing that since I was really, really young and it’s much easier to be sensible.

“Some of the stories for my dad have been very hard to take. I remember always, when he came back from those journeys, for a month he wasn’t there (mentally), because he realised he left a lot of people who, without him or some doctors, their lives were not going to be the same.

“I am really happy to try to help and get involved (with charities). We (footballers) live in a bubble. I’m not that special, it’s just because I’ve seen things with my family. All the boys don’t have that luck to see that.”

In the meantime, Bruno is determined to help Albion stay in the Premier League once again this season.

Martin Montoya’s arrival from Valencia adds to the competition at right-back and Bruno said: “It’s another challenge for me. Even at almost 38 another challenge. You are always learning from other players as well. But for myself the main thing is the team gets something from that competition.”

Albion have conceded nine goals in five league matches this season and Bruno knows that is a record the Seagulls have to improve.

He said: “We have to be more consistent, we have to be more solid.

“We’ve got a few new players that need to adapt to our way of playing but it’s so important to not concede goals.

“It’s a really basic thing. If you want to stay up, it’s going to be a massive thing.”