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A pair of school football teams from Sussex played in the finals of a national tournament organised by the Premier League.

More than 14,500 pupils from 1,600 schools across the UK entered the Premier League Primary Stars competition, with just 40 teams qualifying for the finals day, which took place at Molineux Stadium, the home of Premier League Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Glebe Primary School, in Church Lane, Southwick, and Orchards Junior School, in Nelson Road, Worthing, both qualified...

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School football teams feature in national finals

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A pair of school football teams from Sussex played in the finals of a national tournament organised by the Premier League.

More than 14,500 pupils from 1,600 schools across the UK entered the Premier League Primary Stars competition, with just 40 teams qualifying for the finals day, which took place at Molineux Stadium, the home of Premier League Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Glebe Primary School, in Church Lane, Southwick, and Orchards Junior School, in Nelson Road, Worthing, both qualified for the finals day after winning a Sussex-wide competition organised by Albion in the Community (AITC).

Both teams took on schools representing each of the 19 other Premier League clubs, with Glebe Primary playing in the under-11 girls competition, and Orchards the under-11 mixed tournament.

Glebe were incredibly unlucky not to progress to the knock-out stages after losing just one game, but the Orchards squad ended the day as national champions, winning 1-0 in the final thanks to a stunning winning goal from defender Harrison Hughes.

The Orchards team was made up of Alex Howell, Harrison Hughes, Tyrecce Keating, Rio Long, Aaron Mott, Luke Puttock, Reuben West, and Benjamin Sudds, and coached by Grant Christie and Jamie Parkinson.

Glebe were represented by Kylee Stideford, Honey Remorino, Cherry Cooper, Sienna Robertson, Holly Wilson, Alenka Fodgen, Amelia Eves, and Dionne Williams, and coached by Frances Block and Daniel Garnham.

Dan Garrett, AITC’s PE and school sport development officer, who had organised the qualifying tournaments locally, also joined both schools in the Midlands on the day.

And he was full of praise for how both teams performed.

He said: “Just to reach the finals of such a huge national competition is an amazing achievement and all the players should be incredibly proud of their efforts.

“I was really impressed not only by the way the players performed on the pitch, but also how brilliantly they represented their schools off it.

“For Orchards to then win the national under-11 mixed tournament really was the icing on the cake.

“Well done to everyone who represented both schools so fantastically.”

AITC is now looking for schools to sign up for its 2019/20 Albion Cup series of school football tournaments, the local finals of which take place at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre; they are also how schools qualify for the national Premier League Primary Stars finals.

For more information on how local schools can work with AITC – including how they can enter next year’s tournaments, email: schools@albioninthecommunity.org.uk.