Students, teachers, councillors and footballers marked the official opening of a 3G pitch at a Lancing school on Tuesday.
The much-anticipated £700,000 facility, which was funded by a contribution from the Brighton and Hove Albion FC training ground deal, has been built on a once ‘redundant space’ next to the Sir Robert Woodard Academy in Upper Boundstone Lane.
Head teacher Kieran Scanlon said: “It’s fantastic, it’s given everyone a real boost. And it’s generally given the area a bit of a facelift.”
Rugby can now be played at the school and students can also make use of the running track and long jump.
The pitch will open to the public in September.
Mr Scanlon said he remained committed to providing opportunities for young people in Adur to make use of the facility.
Glenn Murray and Ini Umatong from Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club attended the opening.
Students had a chance to meet and take photos with the stars.
Mr Murray said: “It’s fantastic to see the club putting back into the community and giving them this fantastic surface to play on.
"I’m sure it will be used for years to come and hopefully one of the Albion stars of the future might start here.
"I was probably one of those kids at school who when people asked me what I wanted to do, I told them I wanted to be a footballer.
"The teachers would tell me to concentrate more in class but I was probably one of the lucky ones.
"To have a facility like this is just brilliant for the kids. They can hone their skills on it.
"There's no big puddles or patches of mud on it, it's perfect day in, day out, whatever the weather.
"I'm from up north and the weather isn't as good up there, so the pitches got battered in the winters and the kids didn't give them a rest because all they wanted to do was play football on them.
"We had worn out goalmouths but we still played and still enjoyed it.
"This is a fantastic surface and it's a great thing the club have done.
"It's down to the person himself or herself to push themselves as much as possible (to try to become a professional) but this will be beneficial."