Executive Vice Chairman welcomes the fans back to the Ricoh for the new league season, and discusses the club's commitment to the Academy...
Good afternoon. On behalf of the Board at Coventry City FC, I would like to extend a warm welcome to everyone inside the Ricoh Arena as we raise the curtain on the new home season.
I would also like to extend a warm welcome to all of the Directors, staff, and supporters from Shropshire.
This season marks the 50th anniversary of the club’s promotion to the First Division, under a certain Jimmy Hill, and the influence of that great era and the great man will remain with the club and the City of Coventry for years to come.
The club has enjoyed a busy summer. The first-team squad travelled to south Austria for a successful pre-season tour and training camp. We’ve also welcomed an addition to the football club’s Board in Technical Director Mark Venus who has already made significant contributions to the football club in his first year here, and we look forward to continuing to work with Mark in his additional role.
Mark oversees the football department at the club, and he, along with the coaching and recruitment staff, have been busy at work putting together a squad that can be competitive for us this anniversary season.
For us, the trick is to spend wisely and find the right mix of youth and experience, warriors and artists, loans and permanent signings. We are pleased to have added Vladimir Ghadhzev, Jodi Jones, Marvin Sordell, and Kyel Reid to our permanent ranks, and the loan window will continue to be an option we can utilise this transfer window to strengthen the squad.
I know Mark and all the staff are working really hard to identify the right players to bring into our squad and make sure it is ready for the demands of the next nine months. We have faith that they will continue to be able to identify the right players who will come in and fight our cause.
In addition to bringing Mark onto the Board, there have been a few personnel changes behind the scenes, as we’ve welcomed Adam Brearley as our new Commercial Director, Laura Hunter as the new Head of Communications, Nicky Eaden as Development Squad (U21) coach, and Tony Cook as Head of Academy Coach Development. We welcome all of them to the football club and already know from the good work they are doing that we have made the right choices in appointing them.
On the pitch the club have been extremely proud to have a record number of Academy graduates making senior debuts, with Ben Stevenson the latest to impress on the first-team stage in the EFL Cup against Portsmouth.
In light of that, I’d also like to reiterate that the Board are explicit in their commitment to maintaining a Category 2 status Academy at this club and hold the preservation of the Academy in the highest regard. We will do everything we can do sustain and improve our Academy, as we see it as the foundation of our football club.
The level of talent emerging from the Academy over recent years has been staggering, with six of the midweek matchday squad having progressed through the club’s youth team ranks. Huge credit goes to these young men themselves, but of course also their families and our great Academy staff and coaches.
Finally, the Board are aware that supporters experienced difficulties on Tuesday with regards to ticketing. The new Ticketmaster system is still in its infancy and we’re working hard to ensure the future smooth running of this service, and guaranteeing that our supporters’ matchday experience is as good as it can possibly be. We have received plenty of feedback already, and welcome all input from supporters on this or any other issue.
Thanks for reading and enjoy the game,