After each matchday programme, we will be publishing the 'From the Boardroom' article on our website. For Saturday's game against Sunderland, Coventry City Chairman Tim Fisher wrote the column and his article is published below:
"Good afternoon and a warm welcome to our supporters who join us for today’s game against Sunderland at the Ricoh Arena. I would also like to extend a whole-hearted welcome to the players, staff, officials and supporters who have made the trip from Sunderland for the match.
This afternoon we are joined by representatives from ‘Coventry and Warwickshire Mind’, ‘The Recovery and Wellbeing Academy’, ‘The Heera Foundation’, ‘The Matt Palmer Trust’ and ‘It Takes Balls To Talk’. These organisations are working together to raise mental health awareness before, during and after the match. Volunteers will be on-hand to highlight current mental health issues in today’s society and to explain the support available. We are delighted to be able to create this opportunity at the Ricoh and thank the volunteers for their time today.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, one in six people in the past week will have experienced a common mental health problem. Recently, our former striker, Marvin Sordell, spoke about his own battle with depression, giving the key message that managing your mental health is as important as taking care of your physical wellbeing. Issues such as depression can affect anyone, and we must feel empowered to seek advice and treatment in the same way we would if we had a physical illness.
CCFC and Sky Blues in the Community are committed to supporting World Mental Health Day on 10th October. We see today as a vital step towards awareness of mental health locally and nationally via Sky Sports. We look forward to building on today’s events as we continue to work with the EFL’s official charity partner, Mind, and other organisations.
It is my pleasure to share the incredibly positive news that the Academy has been officially accredited with Category 2 status. This is an excellent outcome for everyone associated with the Football Club, especially the coaches, players and parents at the Academy. Much credit should go to Rich Stevens and his team, who have achieved so much in, what has been at times, very testing circumstances.
In addition, the signing of a five-year agreement to stay at the Alan Higgs Centre from May establishes vital stability for the Academy. Now the Academy can continue to grow and plan for a long term future as an integral part of the community in a purpose-built facility. As I am sure you are aware, the importance of the Academy to the club is significant as it allows for the development of young players who can move on to join our first-team. The Academy is fundamental in creating a sustainable football club.
The connection that develops between fans and homegrown talent is evident, especially when the player has come all the way through the Academy set-up and into the Under 23s, before moving onto the first-team. This clear pathway at Coventry City is of huge benefit to players and the club and it is worth noting that this route is not always available at all clubs.
Steps have been taken during the summer transfer window to strengthen the Under 23s set-up. The aim was to bring in players specifically for the U23’s and develop their talent for the long term benefit of the club. Our recruitment department and infrastructure allows us to identify players for the different sections of the club. They are working almost every day and night, watching games and tracking individual players, to ensure we can make informed and prudent recruitment decisions.
In Mark Robins and Adi Viveash we have two experienced and capable coaches who have strong player development track records. Last season’s achievements for the club demonstrated their ability to work with and develop young footballers. Jordan Shipley and Tom Bayliss are just two examples of players who improved in leaps and bounds during last season in League Two and who are now making their mark in League One. I am sure we are all looking forward to seeing how these young players and the rest of the first-team and academy set-ups continue to develop.
Enjoy the game."
Coventry City Football Club