Dover Athletic’s Academy were crowned National Youth Alliance Champion of Champions after beating Eastleigh Academy 1-0 on Wednesday afternoon.
Joshua Spencer’s header 10 minutes from time saw the young Whites’ triumph in the final, held at Oxford City’s ground, as Mike Sandmann’s side completed a league and cup double and remain unbeaten during the season.
Academy boss Sandmann said: “I’m really proud of the boys and they have been rewarded for all the hard work they have put in.
“We did some set piece drills in training and spoke about them again at half-time as it was such a tight game, so it was nice to see us score the winner from a free-kick.
“The lads have come far in their time with us and to be crowned the best academy team in the country, plus go the whole campaign without defeat is something quite special and proof of what a great set-up we have between Dover Athletic and the Abbey School.”
“We have two more tournaments with this group in June and before we welcome a new group from July – and the new lads already have a lot to live up to!
“Most of the existing squad are certainly ready for first-team football and I hope to see a couple involved during pre-season.”
After lifting the trophy, winning captain Jack Smith said: It was such a close game. At half-time we all felt we could do better and picked up the tempo in the second half.
“To be the Champion of Champions is such a great feeling and it was a real honour to lead out this team.
“The coaching here is excellent and being part of the Dover academy has helped improve me and prepare me for men’s football.”
You can watch Joshua Spencer’s winner below