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"With six players suffering from illness and to win 3-0, it was remarkable." Coventry City Under-18s coach Jason Farndon

18 August 2014

The Under-18s side battled through a bizarre illness situation to record a 3-0 win in their first game of the season...

It's your first game of the season on one of the longest away trips and half your team comes down with illness.

Well, that is the situation Coventry City Under-18's coach Jason Farndon faced against Colchester United at the weekend. 

Goalkeepers Corey Addai and Jake Richards, and midfielder Ben Stevenson fell ill on Friday night before the game which restricted Farndon's options.

As the side made the long journey down to Colchester United, Luke Bromley, Kyle Barnett, Devon Kelly-Evans, Jordan Shipley, Kyle Spence and George Thomas all came down with the same illness. 

But as the Under-18s coach Farndon explained, ill or not the players had to play, with Under-16s goalkeeper Konrad Skusa stepping up to the Under-18s for the first time.

"It was a bizarre situation. We had three drop-outs on the Friday night before the game so it was already difficult," Farndon said.

"Then, we'd arrived at Colchester and a couple of the lads said they were struggling and that obviously, that got the alarm bells ringing. The physio had to quickly spring into action to try and patch the team up.

"We had no-one else to come in so we had to play six players who were really ill. To be fair, the lads just got on with it and they showed fantastic character to do that, including goalkeeper Konrad Skusa who stepped up to the Under-18s for the first time.

"The group has been amazing throughout pre-season and you could see the togetherness in the squad that no-one wanted to let anyone else down."

With half of the Under-18s side ill, the City Academy side battled and came away with a remarkable 3-0 win over the U's.

George Thomas, Cian Harries and Jordan Shipley scored the goals and Farndon said it was a 'real character building situation'.

He added: "They grew up on the day. I've been very critical of the boys for not being great leaders as we had such a great captain in Ivor Lawton last season.

"I said to them after the game that there were 11 captains on that pitch and it was fantastic to see. Some of the players have been helped by spending time in the first-team set-up and they are growing up quickly.

"I've spoke to the manager about it and we agreed that the game showed all the qualities we're looking for from our young players. It was a character building situation.

"They've set a bench-mark with that performance now but it is important we don't let them get carried away with the result as I'm sure it is just the start of what is to come from the side."

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