SUSSEX is celebrating a cup double this week as two of its schools football teams became national champions.

Goals from Guy Bolton and Henry Watson in the ESFA National County final on Monday secured a 2-0 victory over Northumberland for the under-18s just two days after Derrick Kabagozza and Alfie Rogers fired the under-16s to the Inter County Trophy with a 2-1 defeat of North Yorkshire.

Schools teams are made up of players that are as yet unsigned for professional clubs but the Sussex under-18s and under-16s got a taste of the big time as they played out their wins at St Andrews in Birmingham and the City Ground in Nottingham respectively.

Dave Hall, Sussex Schools under-18s co-manager, said: “I can’t praise the squad highly enough for their work ethic, character, game intelligence and ability to quite rightly take their place as the top county in England.

“The stereotype of Sussex is that it’s a bit of a backwater for football, but for me that is definitely not the case and in the last four years we have proved that.”

The victory was all the more sweet for the team as it meant they went unbeaten in league and cup for the entire season, scoring 31 goals and conceding just ten in their eight games.

It was also Hall’s last match in charge of the team after four years at the helm during which he has tasted two National County final wins.

“The aim was to get players and colleges wanting to play for Sussex and show how talented players in this area are,” he said. “I like to feel this has happened and that is why I’m stepping aside.”

Under-16s manager Aran Hawkins said: “It felt absolutely amazing to win the cup. We got to the final a few years ago with a similar squad and we had eight players who were involved both times.

“We’ve had a few tough games right to the final but the spirit in the dressing room is fantastic and the boys all fight for each other. All the players are showing massive improvements and I’m sure at least a few of them will get picked up by clubs.

“Now I’ve had success I’m desperate to have that experience again.”

Several players from both squads have been in talks with professional clubs with Pat Webber missing out on the under-18s final after signing a two-year scholarship with Ipswich Town. Meanwhile, Charlie Coppola, who plays for Lewes, was recently dubbed the new Jamie Vardy by The Sun after travelling up to Leicester.

From the Under-16s, Henri Wilder has secured a contract with Mansfield Town for next year.

Under-16s: Lorcan Healy, Tom Climpson, Fintan Walsh, Dan Hewett, Lewis Brouhton, Giuseppe Gaute-Lammi, Charlie Williamson, Alfie Rogers, Alex Plummer, Henri Wilder, Joel Daly. Subs: Sam Cash, Derrick Kabagozza, Sam Hart, Luke Brodie, Anesu Sisimayi

Under-18s: David Carruthers, Jack Punter, Luke Emberson, Elliot Dollner, Henry Watson, Jack Whitmore, Lucas Rodrigues, Ross Edwards, Charlie Coppola, Guy Bolton, George Cody. Subs: Tom Watson, Rui Buckland, Matt Hards, Harry Russell, Ryan Doyle.