Brighton: Seagulls hoping to build on most successful season yet – WSL Preview

Brighton finished sixth in the Women's Super League last season and will be hoping for a similar showing this season

The start of the new Women’s Super League campaign is now just days away. Manchester United and Reading will kick the season off on Friday, before a whole host of tantalising fixtures take place over the weekend. 

Brighton & Hove Albion will be taking on West Ham in their opening fixture. The Seagulls will be hoping to get off to a good start, having enjoyed a strong end to last season. 

GiveMeSport Women runs through everything you need to know about Brighton, including the club background, star players, fan opinion and our predicted final position come May.

Brighton’s background

Brighton & Hove Albion were founded in 1991. The club were promoted to the WSL2, now known as the Championship, at the end of the 2015-2016 season. Brighton then moved up to the Women’s Super League for the 2018-2019 campaign.

The side are coached by former England manager and player Hope Powell, who joined in 2017. Brighton play at the People’s Pension Stadium in Crawley, but sometimes play at The Amex, home to their male counterparts.

Brighton play at the People’s Pension Stadium in Crawley

How did last season go for Brighton?

Last season was Brighton’s most successful to date. The side finished sixth, three points above Reading and five points below Everton.

The side won their opening match against Birmingham City and then drew against Manchester City, but the side then struggled to build on their early success, racking up defeats to Manchester United, Arsenal, Aston Villa, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Reading.

A heavy 7-1 defeat to Manchester City was followed by a disappointing 3-0 loss to Bristol City in January, but at this point, Brighton managed to turn their season around. The catalyst was an incredible 2-1 victory over Chelsea. In fact, Brighton were the only team able to defeat the Blues as they retained their WSL title.

Brighton won five of their eight remaining games, ensuring a top half finish in the WSL table for the first time ever.

Brighton defeated Chelsea in the Women's Super League last season

Who are Brighton’s standout players?

Maya Le Tissier is one of the UK’s most exciting young defenders. This was reflected in her inclusion in the top 10 of Goal’s 2021 NXGN awards. At just 19-years-old, Le Tissier has already established herself as a crucial part of Brighton’s defence.

Midfielder Inessa Kaagman had an excellent debut season with Brighton last campaign, finishing as the club’s top scorer with eight goals. To the delight of Brighton fans, Kaagman signed a new contract this month, and will likely be a regular starter for the Seagulls.

Maya Le Tissier plays in Brighton's defence

Who have Brighton signed this summer?

Lee Geum-min’s loan move to Brighton from Manchester City was made permanent over the summer. The South Korean forward scored three goals for the Seagulls in the WSL last season.

The Brighton defence has been further bolstered by the addition of Rinsola Babajide from Liverpool on loan and the signing of Danielle Carter from Reading.

Rinsola Babajide is on loan at Brighton from Liverpool

What do the Brighton fans think?

Brighton super fan Kathrin Dick is hoping for much of the same from her club this season, predicting a seventh place finish.

“My hopes for this season are to build on what we did last season,” she said. “It was our highest finish and if we achieve that again, great, but I would be happy if we just continue what we did last season.

“I think the main player will be Inessa Kaagman. She was vital last season and it’s great that she has signed another contract. The way she plays on and off the ball really helped create space and chances for herself and others.”

Inessa Kaagman has been touted as a key player for Brighton this season

GMSw prediction

Final position in the table – Sixth

Brighton will be able to match their best-ever finish. The squad has an abundance of exciting attacking talent, complemented by a number of dependable defenders. Mix this with the experienced guidance of Hope Powell, and Brighton could spring a few surprises this season.

Top scorer – Rinsola Babajide

Rinsola Babajide has arrived at Brighton on loan from Liverpool, where she endured a turbulent time last season. The 23-year-old did not feature for the Merseyside outfit for the second-half of the campaign after refusing to train.

She has now got her desired step-up to the Women’s Super League and will be looking to prove herself. If Babajide links up well with new flatmate Danielle Carter, the pair could be racking up the goals.

Player of the season – Maya Le Tissier

Maya Le Tissier will continue to impress in the heart of the Brighton defence. Alongside her teammates in the back four, she will give Brighton’s attacking talent the confidence to move up the pitch, safe in the knowledge their goal is well-protected.

Brighton are predicted to finish sixth in the Women's Super League
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