Solly March plays an all-round role at Brighton

Solly March was an all-rounder at school – football in the winter, cricket in the summer.

He showed those skills with bat and small ball in the nets at Hove this week.

The Albion full-back displayed classic defensive form and then came over the wicket a couple of times against Sussex spinner Delray Rawlins.

And he enjoyed bowling at a brisk medium pace at fellow Albion player Adam Webster.

March plays a bit of cricket for Chiddingly and went to school at Bede’s, which has a good reputation for cricket.

On Monday, he loved getting some advice from India and Sussex, who ran the Cheteshwar Pujara machine when it was his turn in the nets.

March said: “I love cricket. I played a lot when I was young and sometimes played a bit in the summer.

“Bede’s is a cricket school.

“It was fun coming down and facing a real cricketer in the nets.

“Pujara told me things.

“I still can’t see it but he told me how he (Rawlins) is holding the ball up front, you can tell what delivery he’s going to throw.

“It’s interesting to hear, especially from Pujara. He’s a big star so it’s good to hear from someone like that.

“At school I was more into football, but luckily the sports took place at different times of the year.

“I’ve always enjoyed cricket and still watch a lot.”

Being an all-rounder on the soccer field is usually a useful asset if you want to play on a Graham Potter team.

The term “soccer total” arguably fits what the Seagulls boss is building.

March has played as a winger, defender, at both sides and as a full-back, sometimes in the broadest sense of the word.

Get the win at Old Trafford. He didn’t spend much time either behind or on the wing, especially in the first half.

He said: “There’s a lot of defending, a lot of attacking and everything in between.

“I have to pace up and down the pitch but as long as I play I enjoy it.

“I think I got off to a good start and I’m enjoying it, that’s the main thing.

“The full-back is sometimes the tallest on the pitch.

“We’re trying to push back their defense and make extra numbers in midfield.

“That’s actually how we play, but I don’t want to give too much away!

“We have a way of playing and it seems to work, we come in and Pascal (Gross) goes wide.

“You just have to be flexible and play the game as you see it.”

March clearly has a great understanding on the right with Gross.

He said: “We are on the same wavelength.

“I think we’ve kept that up since last season and we get along well.

“Joel (Veltman) too, it’s working well.

“With the three of us we seem to have a good system going at the moment so hopefully we’ll continue with that.”

After three games, Albion is up.

March said: “It was a good start, wasn’t it?

“Seven points out of nine? We would have taken that 100% in the beginning, but I think looking back now we could easily have had nine.

“We have to keep our standards high, keep pushing and continue this run.

Reports from their three games so far suggest that Manchester United, Newcastle and West Ham have all been well below their best in games against Albion.

Maybe the seagulls were lucky. Or maybe it’s more than coincidence.

Perhaps these subpar opposition displays have a little to do with what Albion is doing.

March said: “We’re pressing really well. I think pressing from the front is key and we have a good system that has worked so far.

“I know Leeds are very good tactically so maybe they will find a way to play and make it harder for us.

“But we stick to what we do.”

However, March believes Albion has more to offer.

He added: “Even at West Ham we could have been so much better at times in the first half.

“Maybe it was the conditions, it was a bit dry but we still have so much to give.”

There was nothing wrong with the pitch as March showed his batting skills at Hove.

What might have turned into a more scripted, stilted media call for two cricketers and two footballers became more than two hours of chat between March, Webster, Rawlins and Pujara.

All four seemed to be enjoying themselves very much.

Between shoots, they shared stories from their different sporting worlds and kicked around the outfield with a soccer ball.

So who are the best cricketers in the Albion squad?

March said: “I have to be up there! Webby’s not bad.

“Steeley (goalkeeper Jason Steele) is actually good. He’s good at most sports to be honest.

“Lallana is playing a little.

“We played a bit in Portugal (pre-season) and it was good to see.

“There was some shady bowling with Pascal and Neal (Maupay)!

“But it’s fun to play with the boys.” Solly March plays an all-round role at Brighton

Fry Electronics Team

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