brighton logo Player of the Month - April 2017

Premier League, here we come. It was job done in April as Brighton and Hove Albion secured promotion to the Premier League with four games to spare.

Five consecutive victories were enough to book a place in the top flight for next season as the Albion returned from the international breaks with wins against Blackburn Rovers, Birmingham City, Queens Park Rangers, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic.

There were wild scenes after that victory over Wigan and it is doubtful that the players have been sober since. They certainly haven't played like they have been anyway as defeats at Norwich City and at home to relegation threatened Bristol City followed.

So ladies and gentlemen, the winner of the last Player of the Month poll as a Championship club for the foreseeable future...

April 2017 Player of the Month -  Dale Stephens (32.03% of the vote)
If this was to be Dale Stephens' last full month in a Brighton shirt then he went out in style. He was dropped to the bench for only one game - and that predictably ended in defeat at Norwich City and the start of the four game winless run that cost the title - which helped maintain his frankly ridiculous record of missing game we fail to win. It didn't matter who he was partnered with as Stephens has this season become the key midfield player and has done more than enough to earn his shot at the Premier League - whether that be with the Albion or with someone else
Played 7 (6 starts, 1 sub). Scored 0.
Second: Uwe Hunemeier (25.78% of the vote)
Losing Shane Duffy to injury looked like it could be a fatal blow to our chances this season but that didn't factor in the return of the BFG. He won our March Player of the Month award and came second here to round off a memorable couple of months after an injury plagued year.
Third: Solly March (14.06% of the vote)
Needing to win games to go up, Chris Hughton finally unleashed Solly March by giving him a run of starts. He paid back that faith with a string of superlative performances which included the winning goal against Wigan Atheltic to secure promotion to the Premier League.

The contenders:
Bruno - A set of captains performances were needed to get over the line and Bruno duly delivered, being absolutely outstanding across the month. At 36, he has well and truly earned his crack at the Premier League.
Uwe Hunemeier - The winner of March's Player of the Month award, the BFG has shown no let off and has made the absence of Shane Duffy seem like absolutely nothing. He even weighed in with his first goal for the club in the victory over Blackburn.
Anthony Knockaert - Wanted to get promotion for his Dad and he delivered. His most telling contribution came in the difficult away game at in form Wolves where he ran the show, scoring twice in the process in a match winning performance.
Solly March - Chris Hughton threw some of his tradition cautiousness out of the window and unleashed the England under 21 winger on a more regular basis in April. The result? His best month of the season and the goal that secured promotion with the win over Wigan.
Glenn Murray - His form had tailed off a bit since signing on a permanent deal for 3m but in April he was back with a bang, scoring four times in seven games including that vitally important only goal of the game against Blackburn.
Sebastien Pocognoli - Given the glut of games he was rotated in and out of the side at left back with Gaetan Bong but when selected the Belgian international was excellent. Scored the winner at QPR to spark mental scenes in the away end at Loftus Road.
Dale Stephens - Whichever partner you stick in the midfield with him, he continues to deliver. A calming influence on games, if he doesn't sign a new deal then the Albion's loss will be a fellow Premier League sides gain.