Former Motherwell defender Ben Hall has thanked Motherwell manager Mark McGhee for launching his career after joining Brighton on a two-year deal.
The Northern Ireland Under-19 internationalist made 19 appearances for the Steelmen during the second half of last season after being handed a full debut by McGhee in the December 2015 win over Dundee.
The Seagulls, who regard the 19-year-old as a development player, unveiled Hall on Tuesday after paying a reported £200,000 compensation fee.
Hall’s departure as a free agent has angered McGhee but the teenager insists he owes a lot to the Scotland coach.
Hall, speaking to seagulls.co.uk, said: “Mark McGhee was brilliant with me. He told me as soon as I played my first game that I would be playing every week, so that gave me great confidence as a young lad and confidence to push on.
“This was my first year pursuing first-team football and I got to play 15 to 20 games.
“I made my debut just before Christmas and from there I just played more and more games which is what I wanted to do.
“I wanted to take my chance, play as many games as possible and maybe get a move to somewhere like here.
“Somebody must have been watching me and liked what they saw, got onto my agent and it has developed into this.
“Since I came down to see the place, I have been watching how the club has been doing, and the whole city is a lovely place to be in and be around, so I hope to be here for years to come. Everything is very impressive.
“It is obviously a big challenge coming down from Scotland but one I am looking forward to, looking to impress people as much as possible and hopefully I can get into the first team.”
Well boss McGhee insists his old club Brighton have got Hall on the cheap.
Speaking to the Argus, he said: “He walked out on us. I’m gutted about it.
“He was a youth-team player and we worked hard on him and his development.
“Brighton have taken a good player for basically no money.
“I am sure he will do well there eventually. They have got themselves a bargain.”