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After receiving his Debut Ball, the Brighton goalkeeper recalls sharing news of his Premier League bow

When Robert Sanchez was told he was making his Tottenham Hotspur Premier League debut, calling his mom was the first thing he did.

“Straightaway when I found out, I called her and I was like, ‘You need to make sure you find the time to watch the full game because I’m playing tomorrow’, ” Sanchez said. “Yeah, she got really excited and, obviously, she’s really, really happy.”

On 1 November, the Brighton & Hove Albion goalkeeper was handed his first start. When he moved from his native Spain at the age of 15 to join Brighton’s Academy and pursue his dream of playing professional football, it was a moment to cherish for his parents, who supported him.

Hard work is paying off

Sanchez spoke after being awarded his Premier League Debut Ball. These balls are given to Premier League homegrown debutants who have been at an English Academy for at least three years before their 21st birthday, marking their rise to the top flight.

The match with Spurs was the culmination of eight years of hard work, including loan spells at Forest Green Rovers and Rochdale, for Sanchez with Brighton.

And the 23-year-old has gone on to establish himself as the first-choice goalkeeper of the club, being ever-present since a December 16 trip to Fulham.

“We knew that it was a good idea to come to this country, and especially after I came here and saw the way people were and the way they treat youngsters, so I came here and everyone made me feel like a family,” Sanchez said.

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For Brighton, Sanchez has been in superb shape, keeping five clean sheets in his last six appearances, and when the Seagulls host Crystal Palace on Monday, he will hope to extend that run.

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