Youth boost as club’s Academy to stay put

Coventry Telegraph - - FOOTBALL - By ANDY TURNER Sky Blues Re­porter andy.turner@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Academy man­ager Richard Stevens Tim Fisher Boro boss Tommy Wright

COVENTRY City has con­firmed it has reached an agree­ment for the club’s Academy to stay at the Alan Higgs Cen­tre – al­low­ing it to re­tain its all-im­por­tant ‘Cat­e­gory Two’ sta­tus.

Af­ter dis­cus­sions be­tween the Academy man­ager Richard Stevens and the CEO of Coventry Sports Foun­da­tion Paul Breed, an ex­ten­sion has been se­cured to stay at Al­lard Way for the 2017/18 cam­paign. How­ever, Sky Blues chiefs say talks are still on­go­ing re­gard­ing a longterm re­lo­ca­tion, with other po­ten­tial sites al­ready iden­ti­fied. The re­ten­tion of its ‘Cat­e­gory Two’ sta­tus will en­able the Academy to con­tinue to com­pete with other Mid­land clubs for lo­cal tal­ent. Coventry City chair­man Tim Fisher said: “We’re de­lighted to be able to ex­tend the Academy’s stay at the Alan Higgs Cen­tre. “It was hugely im­por­tant for us to se­cure the im­me­di­ate fu­ture of what is seen as the lifeblood of this foot­ball club. “Their achieve­ments last sea­son fur­ther il­lus­trated the tal­ent we have com­ing through the sys­tem here at Coventry.” The Academy’s Un­der-18s won the Di­vi­sional Cham­pi­onship last sea­son and con­tin­ues to pro­vide a pro­duc­tion line of tal­ent to the first team with the likes of teenage left-back Chris Camwell who made his se­nior de­but in the last match of the sea­son.

Academy man­ager Richard Stevens said “This is sig­nif­i­cant news for us. I am de­lighted to have se­cured an­other sea­son at the Alan Higgs Cen­tre and would like to thank Paul Breed for all his help and sup­port.

“The cen­tre has been our base for over 10 years and we have ex­cel­lent re­la­tion­ships with ev­ery­one there.

“I would also like to thank the par­ents, play­ers and staff for trust­ing us through­out a test­ing pe­riod of time. “We have been through the Cat­e­gory 2 Au­dit and have had some ex­cel­lent feed­back, we will be able to fur­ther up­date on this over the com­ing weeks. Whilst talks are still on­go­ing for a long-term so­lu­tion, this gives us the best op­tion to meet the re­quire­ments and main­tain our Cat­e­gory Two sta­tus as an Academy.” Paul Breed, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive of Coventry Sports Foun­da­tion, said: “We are de­lighted to be able to ex­tend the re­la­tion­ship with the Coventry’s highly suc­cess­ful Foot­ball Academy, whilst we con­tinue to ex­plore the longer-term so­lu­tions. “It is tes­ta­ment to the hard work of Richard and his team that they have, once again, re­ceived such a pos­i­tive au­dit re­port from the FA.” BORO boss Tommy Wright is back­ing his Nuneaton side to im­press this sea­son with a care­fully-crafted squad to­tally com­mit­ted to the cause.

Wright’s men re­turn to pre-sea­son train­ing tomorrow and with ev­ery player agree­ing terms more or less as soon as they were of­fered, Wright is con­vinced he has the kind of side – with the kind of mo­ti­va­tion needed – to do well this sea­son.

He said: “It’s true, we have got the right guys in and they are here for all the right rea­sons.

“We were the first choice club for all the guys we have bought in. No­body needed time to think, every­body brought into what we were do­ing here.

“That is what I wanted. I wanted play­ers who wanted to be here, not those who had no other op­tions.”

That ap­proach may have cost Wright one or two play­ers dur­ing the break, but noth­ing the Boro boss would lose any sleep over.

He said: “We got the ma­jor­ity of our tar­gets, bar one or two.

“They might have wanted more time, or wanted to see what else was out there, they are not the kind of guys I wanted.

“I wanted them straight in, guys who were up for the chal­lenge.”

That has been helped by the fact that many of the new recruits are al­ready known to var­i­ous play­ers who are al­ready at the club.

Wright added: “We have got a team of mates now. They all get along.

“They are all chomp­ing at the bit now to get back into train­ing and just get back play­ing. Team spirit can be a big thing and I think we will have a lot of that at Nuneaton this year.”

This is sig­nif­i­cant news for us. I am de­lighted to have se­cured an­other sea­son at the Alan Higgs Cen­tre

Coventry City u18s’ Kyle Finn in ac­tion against Sh­effield United in the na­tional ti­tle fi­nal last sea­son. Pos­i­tive news on the Academy’s home is sure to help the de­vel­op­ment of the club’s young tal­ent this sea­son

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