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INTERVIEW: Josh Eccles Talks Step-Up From Academy

The midfielder signed his first professional deal last summer...

5 March 2019

Sky Blues midfielder, Josh Eccles admits there is a ‘massive difference’ from Under 18s football to Under 23s, but he is enjoying the step-up.

Josh was one of three Academy graduates last summer, as himself, Billy Stedman and Lewis Green all signed their first professional contracts with Coventry City.

The centre-midfielder has gone on to be a key figure in the Under 23s side this season, playing in a holding role in front of the back four mainly.

His performances caught the attention of First Team boss Mark Robins, who granted the midfielder with his debut for the club back in November.

Talking about that moment, Josh told how proud he was to step out onto the field for the first team and is something he is hoping for more of.

“When I got told it just hit me.” He said.

“I’ve been working for this moment, so I went out there and just tried to show what I’m all about and hopefully I can do it more towards the end of the season.

“I thought I was doing quite well, putting in 100% to my training sessions, so thought I deserved it, but it is the next step now of solidifying my spot.

“I want to make as many first team appearances as I can and get as many wins as possible for the 23s.”

Eccles has been working closely with Under 23s coaches, Jason Farndon and Luke Tisdale during the course of the 2018/19 season.

The 23s have enjoyed a successful season to date, currently sitting in third place in the Professional Development League South, three points behind Crystal Palace in second.

Having featured a handful of times last season, Eccles said the step-up from Under-18s football to 23s has been ‘massive’.

“There is a massive difference, the tempo is a lot quicker and been pressed quicker, so need to be able to move your feet quicker.

“You get a lot less time on the ball in the under 23s, so you need to step up a level and be at the top of your game.

“Obviously playing a few games last year allows you to get a feel for what is going to happen, so it isn’t completely out of you comfort zone coming into it this year.”

Next up for Josh Eccles and the Under 23s will be a trip to Stocksbridge to face Sheffield United on Monday 11th March 2019.

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