PFA chief executive Maheta Molango visited Brighton and Hove Albion on Friday and spoke of how impressed he was with his former club.
14 years since his departure of the south coast club, it was an enjoyable trip down memory lane.
“It’s a very nice feeling to be back, Brighton was my first club in this country. They gave me the opportunity to start my career in English football and I am forever grateful. It’s nice to see old friends like Ben Roberts, it’s like being back home.
“Credit to the club, to the chairman and chief executive, they have managed to bring the club into the 21st century. When I was here, we were training at the university and playing games at Withdean – I had to wash my own kit!
“Now there’s amazing facilities in place. It’s not just that though, the culture around here is amazing and I really hope people appreciate the evolution of the club, because it shouldn’t be taken for granted what they have at the club today, the club hasn’t always been at the level it is now.
“My first memory of Brighton is arriving just after the club had been promoted to the Championship in 2004, I was there for the parade and I will always have those fantastic memories of the supporters, who would follow the team up and down the country.
“It had a big impact on me, I had only just signed the contract and you arrive at the parade and see how colourful and passionate the supporters are. I am so glad that they have got the stadium, which is the least they deserve. I only have positive memories of Brighton.”
Former striker Molango scored after just 12 seconds into his debut for Albion against Reading.
“That goal is without doubt the highlight of my playing career. It was my first game in England, my wife and my father were in the stands. You couldn’t dream of a better start.
“I still remember the stand that was full of Brighton supporters, it was a special moment not only in my career but in my life. I wasn’t in control of the celebration, I think the images prove that!”
Molango was visiting the club as part of a Premier League team tour ahead of the new campaign to introduce himself.
“I am settling in really well to my new role. The PFA is an amazing organisation, I was a member myself and benefitted from the PFA as a player.
“We do a lot of positive things, we need as an organisation to evolve as society evolves and hopefully that’s where I can bring added value. But I am starting from a very good legacy and I am looking forward to bringing new ideas.”