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Rioch bids farewell to Academy

26 November 2013

City Academy manager Gregor Rioch calls time on his six-and-a-half years with the Sky Blues

Coventry City’s Academy manager Gregor Rioch is stepping down from his role after six-and-a-half years with the Sky Blues.

Rioch, who was brought to City by Iain Dowie, says he is looking for a fresh challenge but he wishes the club, who tried to retain his services, every success in the future.

He said: “I have loved every minute of my time with Coventry City Football Club but I just feel the time is right to move on and find a new challenge.

“I would like to think I am leaving the club’s Academy in very strong shape and believe we’ve made fantastic progress over the past few years.

“But it’s been a real team effort and I would like to thank every single one of the coaches, the players and the parents who I have worked with.

“Ultimately, a club’s Academy is only as good as the number of first team players it goes onto produce and we have made dramatic progress on that front in recent seasons.

“During the past six-and-a-half years, we’ve seen 21 Academy players make their first team debuts and have had more than 450 first team appearances in that time too.

“This season is proving just how important a strong Academy is to the football club with so many players in the first team squad who are making a real impact in league football. 

“That bodes well for the club when it comes to recruitment too because parents and players can see that there is a path into the first team from the Academy and that is, ultimately, where every player wants to be.

“Of course, there is always mixed feelings when you have been at a football club for so long and you decide to call it a day but I feel like I need a new challenge now but still wish Coventry City every success in the future.”

Development director Steve Waggott said Rioch’s assistant, Richard Stevens, will step into the role of Academy manager.

He said: “When Gregor approached me to say he felt he needed a new challenge I made it obvious that I wanted to keep him here at Coventry.

“But this is a personal decision for Gregor and once he had made up his mind, we have had to plan accordingly.

“These are exciting times at Coventry City on the field of play – throughout all levels – and Richard Stevens will ensure continuity following Gregor’s departure. 

“We have to continue the work that Gregor has done over the past six-and-a-half years, during which time he has great support from a team of coaches and staff.

“The Academy is of vital importance to Coventry City and the way we are structuring the football department to create a clear and smooth path from Academy to the first team.

“And that work will continue apace, especially as we implement our Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP).

“We would like to place on record our sincerest thank you to Gregor for all of his work at Coventry City and we wish him all the very best in his future career.”

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