A sense of enthusiasm swept into Melissa Phillips even after only being in the Brighton hot seat for six days, with the prospect of an FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United and exciting projects evolving for the women's game at Albion, it was something that was going to have butterflies running around your stomach. 

When a coach departs England and goes somewhere scenic like Los Angeles to coach at Angel City FC for homecoming, it can be the end of an adventure around the world and an opportunity to settle down but the platform provided at the AMEX Stadium and the way Brighton want to run their women's team was a real sell-on for the American coach. 

Now, it's about finding a desire to win on the South East coast and repay the colossal work done internally to bring future honours. 

She said, "Brighton have an unbelievable vision for their women's programme from the first team to the youth academy, they have really supported that well with facilities, infrastructure and they have provided the players and staff at the club a platform to be successful. 

"We now have to try and get some success to the club and we'll do that by trying to bring an identity to the way we play and build belief, It's an incredible club to lead in the WSL and there's so much potential for us to be successful. 

"It's about getting it right on the pitch and trying to find a winning formula, my heart was always in England despite going away to Angel City. I took the decision to go back to America to progress my career after leaving London City Lionesses when they were going for promotion. 

"Brighton has always felt like the right fit for me in terms of the ambitions and values that we share, it was an easy decision on that front as it's always tough to leave a football club and Angel City are such an incredible organisation but they also understood the opportunity made available here at Brighton.

Melissa Phillips is excited by the project at Brighton. 

"We want to have a positive mindset about everything that we do and hopefully that can allow us to get chances like reaching big cup games like we have on Saturday and a chance to climb the league table.

BE IN CHARGE AGAIN

The 35-year-old admits that the opportunity to be in charge of a team again was important in his decision to depart the States and come back to the UK. 

She added: "As coaches, we pour our heart into any project that we do and it's never easy to leave a club as you dive wholeheartedly into any project you do whether that's working with players, staff and other great people at clubs. 

"I have so much respect for the people at Angel City who work there, it's going to be a challenge but ultimately, the opportunity to be a manager again was an opportunity I couldn't turn down. 

"The opportunity and support I am going to receive here at Brighton was an incredible platform that was hard to turn down."

MERRICKS TO PLAY PIVOTAL ROLE

Phillips revealed that transparent conversations have taken place between the newly-appointed boss and her predecessor Amy Merricks who has been in charge of Women's Super League side Brighton as caretaker manager twice this season, but she's now set for a more permanent posting as head coach of England WU19s. 

"She will be alongside us for the game this weekend and she'll be helping in different capacities as we aim to make it a smooth transition between Amy and I. 

"What an incredible opportunity Amy has to go and work with England and help the young players coming through that will hopefully play for the full national team.

"We have got ourselves into an FA Cup semi-final and it's something that I think needs to be celebrated, we all want to do well for Brighton but also want to do well for Amy as well as she's been great for the club in providing the team with a stability."

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