Andrew Crofts: Brighton midfielder extends contract until 2016

Brighton's Andrew Crofts and Charlton's Jordan Cousins
Crofts (left) has made 94 league appearances for Brighton

Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Andrew Crofts has signed a one-year extension to his contract.

The 30-year-old, who rejoined the Seagulls in 2012 after a two-year spell with Norwich, will now remain at the Amex Stadium until the summer of 2016.

Crofts missed the end of last season with a cruciate ligament injury but has made four appearances so far this term.

"To get rewarded with the extra year is a massive boost for me," the Wales international told BBC Sussex.

Brighton boss Sami Hyypia on Crofts
"I can imagine how difficult it is to come back from a long-term injury. I think he will improve his performances and will be an important player for us this season."

"To have the backing of the gaffer and the chairman is massive for a player.

"I had a few options to go elsewhere after Norwich but I always wanted to come back here. For the club to reward my loyalty is a big thing as well."

Crofts is hoping to get back to the performance level he was at before he suffered his knee injury in January.

"The last seven and a half months have been a tough time but before that things were going really well," he said.

"I've worked hard to come back to get back out on the pitch. I was flying before the injury and hopefully I'll be getting back to that form as quick as I can."

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New Brighton deal a massive boost - Crofts

Crofts previously spent the 2009-10 season with Brighton, having joined from Gillingham on a free transfer, before moving to the Canaries.

In total, he has scored 13 goals in 103 appearances for the Sussex club.

Brighton manager Sami Hyypia said Crofts provided a good example to the club's younger players.

"He has a good attitude in training and I can imagine how difficult it is to come back from a long-term injury," the Finn added.

"I am happy he is fit and improving every week. I think he will improve his performances on the pitch and will be an important player for us this season."

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