Aaron seeks new home

Warwickshire Telegraph - - SPORT - Andy Turner Sky Blues Re­porter andy.turner@coven­try­tele­graph.net

AARON Phillips faces a sum­mer of un­cer­tainty af­ter leav­ing boy­hood club Coven­try City.

Tony Mow­bray’s de­ci­sion not to of­fer the 22-year-old Leam­ing­ton lad a new deal ends a 14-year spell with the Sky Blues. But the young right-back is de­ter­mined to bounce back and prove the man­ager wrong by mov­ing on­wards and hope­fully up­wards in his ca­reer.

“I’m dis­ap­pointed but that’s life,” he said. “Tony Mow­bray has made his de­ci­sion and it’s just some­thing I have to live with.

“We had a con­ver­sa­tion back in Jan­uary say­ing I prob­a­bly wouldn’t be get­ting a con­tract but then I did play the last five or six games and I thought I did re­ally well play­ing against the top teams in our league.

“But the de­ci­sion was made at the end of the sea­son not to keep me. I felt I had given ev­ery­thing I could in those games, as I have ev­ery time I have played.

“This is where I wanted to be but even if I wasn’t go­ing to be here I had to im­press any teams that maybe watch­ing the games.”

He added: “Coven­try City will al­ways have a place in my heart be­cause I have been at the club from such a young age.

“It’s very tough to leave but in a strange way I think it could do me good get­ting away. It will help me grow up a lit­tle bit and get more in­de­pen­dence rather than liv­ing at home and stuff.

“It will be a new chal­lenge and some­thing that I am now look­ing for­ward to show­ing that I am a good player and to prove peo­ple wrong.”

It’s a dif­fi­cult end to an en­joy­able jour­ney for the son of Wem­b­ley ’87 hero David Phillips.

“I have been at Coven­try since I was seven or eight, right from the start re­ally, so a long time,” he said.

“I have worked with some amaz­ing coaches over the years, peo­ple like Kirk Stephens, Terry An­gus, Rich Stevens, Gre­gor Rioch who were all very sup­port­ive of me and I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate what they did for me. They looked af­ter me re­ally well.

“I made my de­but against Crawley in 2013, went on for the last ten min­utes at cen­tre­back, and it was the best feel­ing be­cause all the years I watched the team I had al­ways dreamed of one day be­ing on that pitch and play­ing for Coven­try.

“I wouldn’t change that day for the world. I know the re­sult wasn’t right – we lost 3-2 – but it’s very spe­cial to me.”

The high­light, how­ever, of his 61 ap­pear­ances was the day he scored his only league goal for the club, a late equaliser at Mo­lineux.

“One of the best mo­ments I have ever had was against Wolves, com­ing off the bench in front of all those fans,” he said. Who­ever ex­pected me to go and score? I did!

“I have never been shy in get­ting for­ward and tak­ing a shot, so that was a very spe­cial mo­ment in my life.

“I scored a cou­ple in the JPT against Ex­eter and that was one of those days where ev­ery­thing went for me.”

As for the sup­port­ers, most of whom gen­er­ally get be­hind Acad­emy grad­u­ates, es­pe­cially if they are lo­cal lads, he said: “I have got to be hon­est, a lot of the fans have been very sup­port­ive of me since I broke into the first team and I ap­pre­ci­ate that be­cause they have al­ways been ex­cel­lent to­wards me.

“I know I got a bit of stick a cou­ple of times this year when I made mis­takes but that’s foot­ball.”

So what next for the al­lac­tion full-back who has been linked with in­ter­est from Sh­effield United?

“There’s a bit of in­ter­est from clubs but noth­ing con­crete yet,” he said.

“Hope­fully I can sort some­thing out sooner rather than later be­cause I don’t want it to drag into July when the pre­sea­son has started.”

Aaron Phillips can look back on some happy times with the Sky Blues, most no­tably his dra­matic goal at Mo­lineux.

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