Date: 14th June 2016 at 7:42am
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Finnish international goalkeeper Niki Maenpaa has been speaking of his delight at securing a new 12 month deal with Brighton the other day.

Having moved to the club last summer, and now extended his stay until this time next year, whilst he’s clearly hoping for a bit more game time in the future coming season, he’s been happy with his adjustment to life at the club, so he was obviously pleased to get the offer.

Speaking to the Official Site with the ink dry on his new contract, he explained.

‘I`m really happy that I’ve signed a new contract as I wanted to stay. I had a really good feeling about Brighton. Not only from the manager, but the board also gave me the feeling that they really wanted me to stay, whether we were going to play in the Premier League or the Championship.’

Adding about his first year at the Amex.

‘I had a really good year, not only with Ben (Roberts, goalkeeper coach), but with the keepers too. Even though I haven`t played many games, I have learned a lot and I am really looking forward to working with Stocko, Ben, Casper Ankergren and Christian Walton again. The feeling we have in the dressing room and the team spirit we have is amazing. I could say it`s one of the best, if not the best team spirit I`ve experienced. It`s a really unique feeling here. We worked really well together when we had good periods and during the less successful periods. As a team, we created a really unique atmosphere.’

As for his aims for next year, obviously that means more game time and building on the three cup experience he got against Southend United, Walsall and Hull City.

‘Next season is a new challenge for all of us. Stocko did really well last year, but it`s a new season and I just need to do my job well. Last year I didn`t play many games, but we started the season so well. You just have to do everything you can in training.’

With Finland also beginning their World Cup qualification campaign this coming September, he also spoke of his hopes at featuring at a major international tournament during his career.

And a good year for Brighton can only help that.

‘We are in a tough qualification group, but it`s not impossible. Finland has never been in a European Championship or a World Cup, but we feel we can reach our dreams. I am 31 now and I still feel fit and really motivated. I feel I have many years to go and my dream has always been to play in the Premier League. International-wise, it would be great to reach a major tournament for the first time ever. But I don`t think too far ahead and I am just really delighted to re-sign here.’

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