Richie Towell on adjusting to life at Brighton after a difficult start in England

The former Dundalk player was on Wednesday's Off The Ball

Richie Towell

Image: PA

Richie Towell was handed a rare start last night for Brighton, even if it was the U23 side.

Competing in the EFL Trophy, the former Dundalk man slotted home from the spot and continues to graft away for a crack at the senior team.

Making the switch from the League of Ireland and leaving the Premier Division champions hasn't been easy, especially when his chances to make the first have been hampered by injury.

"When I first initially signed the lads were flying and really pushing for promotion," he told Off The Ball. "They had a really strong midfield at that time so I knew I'd just have to bide my time and wait for my opportunity. 

"Then, when preseason came, I thought that'd be the best opportunity to grab it with both hands but unfortunately the day before the first friendly after doing all the hard graft, I got a scan on my knee and it didn't show up too well. I had to take a couple of months off which is really frustrating."

Preseason, he explains, included warm weather training Tenerife where they would complete two or three sessions per day.

"I don't think it was any tougher than what we did at Dundalk, Graham Byrne [fitness coach with Dundalk] had us working really hard."

Andy Boyle (left) and Daryl Horgan, former teammates of Towell, were called into the Ireland squad earlier this year. Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy 

Those sessions did stand to him and Towell admitted he wasn't surprised that he was able to keep up with players playing at a higher level. 

"We did all the tests and I think I won every single won every single one of them... I'm not surprised by what I can do because I know how hard I work. When you know how hard you work it's hard to see how anyone else can beat you."

He also touched on the success of his old club this season, with Dundalk going on a stunning run in the Europa League and making history along the way. As rumours persist about the likes of Andy Boyle and Daryl Horgan leaving the club this summer, Towell pointed out that there talent as been obvious for a while, in particular Boyle.

"You need to play with Andy to see how good he is. He cruises through games, that's why people don't recognize him. He never has to make a last-ditch tackle or header. His positioning and know-how in the game is so good that he always in the right position that he doesn't have to make those sort of tackles.

"I've no doubt that he'll be able to make the step up. Obviously he's got the call-up to the international squad and I was delighted for him. That wouldn't phase him either. He's more than capable of playing at any level he wants."