Johnny Cantor: Talented, professional and humble '“ let's hope Bruno stays at Albion in some shape or form
It is the time of year when supporters and the media are focused on the promotion push, the battle for survival and the cup finals.
Of course both parties are also interested in the longer-term but it is the players who will be most keen to discover where their future lies. Some have the comfort of a contract which may have years to run but others will be approaching the summer with trepidation.
The length of a contract can of course serve the club as well as the player but if you are entering the latter stages of your career the options can be more limited.
I personally hope that Brighton and Hove Albion captain Bruno can stay on after his current contract as a player for another year or in some shape or form as he is the embodiment of the club’s progress. Talented. Professional. Humble. Steve Sidwell is another player who has offered so much on and off the pitch but may depart at the end of the season.
Time isn’t always on your side but leaving a club can offer a new opportunity. It was great to see another Seagulls favourite Inigo Calderon celebrate success with Chennaiyin in the Indian Super League. Many wanted him to stay at the Amex as a coach or ambassador and his exceptional community work has been well-documented but he wanted to keep playing as long as possible.
Bruno has kept himself so fit he can continue and his work with charities and community groups was in full view again this week but he too has to make a decision on the future.
Albion themselves also have a conundrum in goal where Maty Ryan has established himself as number one, Tim Krul is preferred as back-up to Niki Maenpaa while the promising Christian Walton has been in brilliant form on loan at Wigan.
The dynamics of any squad are unique and it is important to have the right blend of youth and experience, the right blend of workers and technical players.
This week on Albion Unlimited on BBC Sussex, the former Albion midfielder Keith Andrews said the togetherness of a squad and the partnerships within a team are the key to success. It was interesting to hear that several players were dismayed at the departure of Ashley Barnes a few years ago to Burnley.
Ultimately players come and go but Andrews said he will always have a soft spot for the Seagulls as he enjoyed his time on the south coast and felt the club was run in the right way.
It is difficult to let players or staff go and new faces will no doubt arrive in the next transfer window but there is also the right time to move on. Calderon moved on to another country, Andrews tried coaching and now is a pundit and both have found success. I’m sure Sidwell will also make a great summariser at some point. As for Bruno, he could probably turn his hand to anything!
I don’t know when the time will come but I hope he gets another year as a player. The Spaniard encapsulates everything about what has happened at the Albion over the last few years. Whatever he does, I know he will do it in the right way.