Crofts returns to Albion as U23's player/coach
Andrew Crofts in action for Brighton in his second spell at the club. Image courtesy of Jordan Mansfield on Getty Images.

Andrew Crofts has returned to Brighton & Hove Albion for a third spell at the club as a player-coach with the U23s'.

Crofts has signed a two-year playing contract, solely to play in Simon Rusk's U23's as one of the three permitted overage players, allowed under Premier League 2 rules.

The 35-year-old midfielder in his previous two spells with the Seagulls made 115 appearances scoring 10 times.

Crofts has made over 500 appearances in his senior career, including winning 29 senior caps for Wales.

Ashworth on Crofts 

Albion's technical director, Dan Ashworth had the following to say on Crofts return to the club: “This is an innovative step, and we are delighted to have Andrew on board. Firstly as a coach, following Liam Rosenior’s move to Derby County, and he will become part of our under-23 coaching team, working with Simon and his assistant Shannon Ruth.

”Secondly, the thinking behind the playing role is to have someone of his experience out there on the pitch alongside our younger players, and to impart that crucial knowledge he has gained from his time in the game.

“To have that experience out on the field, in the pressure situation of a game, will be of enormous benefit to our young players and have a positive impact on their collective and individual development.”

Crofts can't stop smiling

Crofts himself had the following to say on his return to Albion: “Words can’t express how proud I am to be back. I’m absolutely buzzing and I haven’t stopped smiling since I found out.

“Everyone knows my affiliation with the club. I had some great times here, made some brilliant relationships, and always wanted to come back.

“When this opportunity came up, I had to grab it with both hands. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind because I signed for Yeovil as a player-coach, and I was only there for a couple of days.

“I had a call that Rosenior was going to Derby and that this role had become available. As soon as it came up, I was so happy.