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Academy awarded Category Two status

10 July 2013

Academy manager Gregor Rioch delighted following confirmation by the Professional Game Board

Coventry City Academy manager Gregor Rioch has described his 'elation' following the Club's youth setup being awarded Category 2 status by the Professional Game Board.


The status was rubber-stamped today, a decision which will enable to the Club's Academy setup to continue to grow as well as compete for the best young talent with a hope of developing players into first team regulars.


The Academy submitted a 1,000-page document for audit as part of it's application for Category Two status, a new classification as part of the recently introduced Elite Player Performance Plan.


Rioch said he was delighted with the decision but that the outcome was the result of a team effort.


"All heads of department have a right to feel proud of this achievement because it was very much a team effort," he said.


"The overall success of the process has been really rewarding for the staff, the players, their parents and everyone involved with the Academy and this decision now puts us in a position where we can look forward to the future.


"It's been two years of real hard work for us, producing a 1,000-page blueprint from scratch, but as well as the satisfaction of being awarded Category 2 status the process has also helped us improve as an Academy."


With Category 2 status now secure, Rioch added that he was really excited about the prospect of the new season coming just around the corner.


"The status award means we will take part in the Category 2 games programme and our fixtures come out at the back end of July so we're really looking forward to that.


"We've had a tough week of pre-season training with the boys and the schoolboys come back on Monday and then we have the friendlies and regular season games on the horizon so that's when we feel that we'll really be back into it."


Coventry City first team manager Steven Pressley was equally pleased by the news and added the presence of the club's Under 18s around a first team environment at City's Sky Blue Lodge training ground, in Ryton, has been an enriching experience.


"The Academy being awarded Category 2 status is fantastic news for the club and it's a testament to how hard Gregor Rioch and his staff have worked to ensure a bright future for the club's youth.


"With the Academy headquarters now operating from Ryton it's also been fantastic to see the effect a first team environment has had on the application and focus of our youngsters since they have been here.


"We think it's important not to underestimate the value of our younger boys being around the first team, eating with them, training with them and in turn observing the work ethic that is required to make it as a professional. It can only be beneficial to them and working side by side with the Academy as we have done recently is something I've really enjoyed."

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