Youth boost as club’s Academy to stay put
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