Six Coventry City stars paid a visit to the City Under-9s and Under-10s sides at the Alan Higgs Centre...
Coventry City stars Conor Thomas, Jordan Clarke, Cyrus Christie, Callum Wilson, Ben Maund and Louis Garner paid a visit to the CCFC Academy on Tuesday night.
The six City players, who have all graduated from the City Academy and made just under 300 first-team appearances between them, went down to the Alan Higgs Centre to meet the City Under-9s and Under-10s teams.
The children were able to speak to the City players about their rise through the CCFC Academy and see what it takes to make it as a professional footballer.
City midfielder Conor Thomas was one of the players to visit the Academy and he said it was strange to go back to where it all started.
Thomas said: "Richard Stevens (Academy Manager) text us all to ask if we could go down and we were more than happy to. It is the first time I've been back in a long time and it was a bit weird really.
"I didn't realise how quick my journey as a footballer had gone. It seems like yesterday when I was down there every day. It was really good for me as when I was at their age in the Academy, I could never have dreamt I'd be going back there as a professional.
"We never got the opportunity to meet any professionals at that age but when you saw the Under-18s players around, it was always a big thing.
"The children had some great questions for us and they seemed to really enjoy us being there. I think Richard wanted them to know the sacrifices we've had to make to get where we are.
"Hopefully, in ten years time, some of those kids will be the ones going back to the Academy as a professional footballer."
Academy Manager Richard Stevens believes the Under-9s and Under-10s teams, who are coached by first phase Under 5-11 lead coach Scott Curry, gained a lot from the experience.
Stevens said: "I text the lads to see if they could spare their evening to come down and speak to the lads, and it was great to see them all back at the Alan Higgs Centre.
"The children was absolutely delighted to see their favourite City players down at the Academy and I think it really helps to inspire them as it shows that they can one day play for Coventry City.
"The Academy has produced some fantastic talent over the years from the local area and they've all had the opportunity to play for the first team.
"It proves if you put in the hard work, you can succeed and hopefully some of the children from our young groups will continue to progress up the age groups and into the first-team squad."