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Interviews

INTERVIEW: Richard Stevens Previews The FA Youth Cup

31 October 2017

Tonight, The Sky Blues get their FA Youth Cup campaign underway, as they travel to Lincoln City in the First Round of the competition.

The game is scheduled for a 7pm kick-off at Sincil Bank and the under-18s will be looking to make amends for last year and grasp the opportunity to put together a cup run.

Academy Manager, Richard Stevens knows all about the competition and the highs that it can produce, such as getting to the quarter-final against Arsenal during the 2015/16 season.

He said: “Every year the Youth Cup throws up some great experiences, with the highs of Arsenal in the quarter-final two years ago and then the reality check of losing to Dunkirk last year.

“You only get two years to play In the Youth Cup with it being the first and second year scholars, so it is always special for the boys, they look forward to it and they looked out for the draw when it came out.

“We have a difficult draw tomorrow, Lincoln City are a competitive team and a good footballing side, and we expect a tough game and we have got to show a bit of fight and a bit of spirit.

“It is a welcome opportunity to put right what we didn’t think we did well last year.”

Several of the players who featured in that clash with Arsenal have gone on to play in for the senior team, including Jordan Shipley, who scored his first goal for the club last weekend in the 3-0 victory away at Luton Town.

Another former under-18 player, Jordan Ponticelli also had a first this past weekend, as he made his first League start for the club and Stevens believes all young players at Coventry City can look at moments like this and take inspiration.

“The one thing that has been successful over the years here at Coventry, is the young players have got into the First Team and they all provide inspiration for all of our young boys.

“On the weekend Jordan Ponticelli makes his first league start and Jordan Shipley scores a pivotal goal in the game, so I think all the young players in the side, not just the under-18s look up to those moments and we have to enjoy and savour them.

“The boys involved in the Youth Cup will realise they’re about a year away from having that opportunity if they can show the manager and the staff they’ve got the ability and the work ethic to play in that games programme.”

The Selenity Stand and the VIP area will be open for supporters. It will be cash entry for these areas and will be priced at £5 for Adults and £2 for Concessions and Juniors.


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