Richie Towell said getting a new contract with Brighton and Hove Albion has given him "a new lease of life" as he prepares to head out on loan to kick-start his career across the water.

Chris Hughton snapped up the Dubliner after a superb campaign for Dundalk a year and a half ago in which his goals and energetic displays drove the Lilywhites to the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division title and the FAI Cup.

Opportunities to shine at the Amex have proven few and far between for the 25-year-old, but a contract extension until 2019 - handed to him back in May - was an enormous vote of confidence.

Hughton, who will lead the Seagulls into the Premier League this year - has repeatedly aired his admiration for Towell, but wants him to head out on loan to further his development. It's a chance the ex-Celtic man is ready to seize.

"It was amazing, the whole place really got behind us," he told RTÉ Sport's Tony O'Donoghue when reflecting on Brighton's promotion from the Championship.

"I think we'll be able to cope really well (in the Premier League). We've a great manager. I'm sure we'll be able to attract players as well. 

"He'd always said to me even though I wasn't playing how highly he rates me. Sometimes you don't believe it when you're not playing, but when they give you a new contract you kind of start believing. It gave me a new lease of life. 

"Overall it hasn't gone to plan, I'm not going got lie. I would have liked to play more, I think everybody knows that. But the experience I've had with the club has been amazing. I need to go now and play somewhere."

"I want to play football and if it means having to drop down to League One, which is still a really good standard, you seen the clubs that got promoted this year, Sheffield United and teams like that, they're massive clubs. If i had the opportunity to play for one of them it would be hard to turn down."

Daryl Horgan, Andy Boyle and now Sean Maguire have followed Towell's path from Ireland to England's second tier and the midfielder is hoping they can all push on to the next level.

"It's great to see lads doing well and getting their chance to go over to England.

"I just hope that they take it with both hands and don;t take it for granted and go over there and have all the success."