The City Under-18s coach has also spoke about the second half of the season and the plans for 2016...
Here at PUSB matchday programme, we want you to feel closer to your team and bring you exclusive behind-the-scenes insight from Coventry City. So, throughout the season, the ‘View from Ryton’ will give you a look into the day-to-day operation at CCFC.
Today, it’s the turn of Under-18s coach Jason Farndon.
Happy New Year everyone and welcome back to the Ricoh Arena for the start of 2016! The Academy are back after a small break so the young lads can get refreshed and be ready for the second half of the season.
It’s been a busy season already with the players averaging 20 games already this season and that doesn’t include the players who’ve stepped up to the Under-21s as well. For me, it gives me a good time to reflect on the players. Before we left for the short break, we did an open forum with the group and everybody stood at the front and said three things they thought they’d done really well and three things they want to improve on. Everyone contributed on everyone and those sessions are important for players to self-evaluate to see what they can do better.
Those theory sessions off the pitch are really important for me. I was speaking to Lee Carsley about this and I’ve never been blown away by a coaching session. For me, the key is to get players to play for you and to take in what you want. For that to happen, you need to know the person so I always go out of my way to know what their parents do, what happens in their private life and so on, so you can implement it in the coaching and nurture of the player.
Some players don’t react well to being shouted at and some players don’t react well to success. Bassala Sambou is a good case as he needs driving and motivating constantly as the minute I come off him, he can’t self-motivate as well as others. I barely talk to the likes of Callum Maycock because he is extremely driven and if anything, I sometimes need to take him off it a bit.
Heading into the second-half of the season, we’re second in the league and we’ve done really well. Some of the first-year players have really surprised me with their quick progression and that’s been a great learning curve for me to try and look past the player they are now, and look down the line. Tom Bayliss and Jordan Thompson have really grown into the programme and that’s been a great success for us.
We were at this point exactly last season and we had a bit of a slide in the second half of the season. As everyone knows, numbers can get quite stretched with a few injuries to the Under-21s and that inevitably happens in the second half of the season so we’re not getting carried away. We’ve got a really exciting FA Youth Cup tie against Charlton Athletic coming up and the players have done magnificent to reach this stage of the competition once again.
Finally, it’s an important time for our second-year scholars. They’re coming towards the end of their apprenticeship and the decision whether to give them a professional contract or not is coming up. We usually sit down with the players in February with the decisions for every player. I was very proud of last year’s group as every player carried on their footballing career, whether that be at the club or in America. Hopefully, we’ll get the same type of success this year.