JAMES Coles is setting his sights on new targets after ticking off more personal milestones.

The all-rounder signed his first professional contract with Sussex in May, having only turned 17 in April.

In the months that followed, the Magdalen College School pupil racked up one-day experience with the county and represented England Under 19s against the West Indies last month.

Coles has played with and against some big names, including Australia international Travis Head at Sussex, and reveals it has been an eye-opening experience.

He said: “It’s been quite an intense summer, probably the busiest one I’ve had.

“That’s been a shock to the body.

“It’s been one of the most memorable summers of my life, I’ve learnt so much playing all the cricket I have with the people I have.

“It’s really good to be playing at a high standard of cricket, it’s the best thing for me. I’m very grateful.

“If you were looking from the outside, you’d think people like Trav are just naturally gifted and don’t have to do too much work.

“But the best players in the squad are the ones that are always trying to ask for extra.

“It’s opened my eyes to the fact that you can’t get there without working ridiculously hard.”

Coles became Sussex’s youngest first-class player last September, dismissing Surrey and England batsmen Rory Burns and Ben Foakes at The Oval.

This summer, he played every game for the county in the Royal London One-Day Cup and featured again in the four-day game.

The Oxfordshire youngster then played four matches in England Under 19s’ 4-2 series win over the West Indies.

He said: “I’ve always tried to set myself quite big goals at the start of each year.

“Last season I wanted to be the youngest player for Sussex and managed to do that.

“I always try to set one target which is quite out there and if I get there it’s ‘well done’, if I don’t it’s not the end of the world.

“There are also little milestones, like a certain amount of hundreds.

“I think you need to have a clear idea of what you want to be doing and playing as high a standard of cricket as you can.

“This summer, the target was two or three Championship games and the majority of the Royal London.”

Coles is hoping to be involved in the Under 19s’ tour of Sri Lanka next month, which is still to be confirmed, while the World Cup in January is very much in his sights.

But for now, the teenager is focusing on his schoolwork.

Coles is studying maths, physics and economics in the final year of sixth form at Magdalen College and is currently sending off university applications.

He said: “I missed quite a few weeks of school last term, so it’s really nice to see my friends again – I didn’t see them much over the summer.

“For quite a while I’ve been trying to balance cricket and schoolwork, so I’m used to that now.

“At the moment I’m having a couple of weeks off before it starts up again.

“It’s going to be an intense winter.”