Schools from across Sussex competed in the inaugural Albion Cup – with almost 700 pupils taking part across three age groups.
There were 14 qualifying tournaments held around the county, with six in Brighton and Hove, four in East Sussex and four in West Sussex, with 77 school teams entering.
The top teams from each qualifier progressed to three finals days at Brighton & Hove Albion’s American Express Elite Football Performance Centre in Lancing.
The Haven in Eastbourne won the Years 3 and 4 category; Years 5 and 6 was won by The Oaks in Crawley and the Years 5 and 6 girls champions were Cottesmore St Mary’s from Brighton and Hove.
Half a dozen schools were also invited to take part in a training session at the Albion’s state-of-the-art training ground after showing particularly good sportsmanship during the qualifiers.
The tournament was organised by Albion in the Community (AITC), the Seagulls’ official charity, and some of the players who took part were also invited to attend trials for the charity’s Elite Centre which shadows the Albion’s academy.
After a successful first year the charity will now run the Albion Cup annually.
AITC’s Tom Hart said: “As well as the football being played at a fantastic level all the teams showed great sportsmanship and should be incredibly proud of how they represented their respective schools.
“It is great to be able to use the same training facilities as the first team and it provided a unique opportunity for children to play in such a professional and inspiring environment.”
Schools who would like to submit an expression of interest in next year’s tournaments can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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