The Sky Blues recently confirmed the appointment of coach Jason Farndon as the new First Team Technical Coach and Head of Under 23 Development.
Farndon has been with the Sky Blues for a number of years, working in the Academy, before progressing to Under 23s Head Coach and now leading to his new role in the first team.
Reflecting on the announcement of his new role with Coventry City, Farndon told how it is something that has been on the cards since last season
He said: “It’s probably something that’s possibly one of the worst kept secrets I’d imagine, but it’s been sort of developing since last season.
“Obviously on matchdays I’ve been with the first team for probably two seasons now, so it’s just progressed from that really.
“The change is that I’m working day-to-day with the first team, taking training sessions me and Adi Viveash, alongside the Gaffer (Mark Robins) so I think we felt we’ve got quite a young squad so to have another coach in there helping them develop.
“I was always quite vocal about it not being my ambition to work in first team football but it’s sort of evolved.
“Adi’s probably the most decorated English youth coach. He has won numerous accolades and trophies at Chelsea and the Gaffer’s the most experienced Football League manager there is.
“If I can’t learn off those two and pick their brains on both sides of the game and development and winning football matches then I’m not going to learn so working with those two is brilliant for my development.”
Having been based at Ryton at the Sky Blue Lodge for the last few years, Farndon has been accustomed to in the vicinity of the first team.
Now with the move to working in the first team set-up, Farndon spoke about his day to day role and the difference compared to the Under 23s.
“Obviously you’ve got players who are various ages, been at other clubs, been coached by other coaches etc. but football’s football and the players here are very receptive to being coached.
“We are definitely a coaching club rather than a training club, so we are trying to develop them as players to then make the team better.
“Me and Adi plan and take training along with the manager and we do whatever the manager wants to work on, whether it’s working on the opposition, working on developing our own players, set plays etc.
“It’s all blended in because we’ve got a lot of young players who have come through the development squad so it’s developing nicely.”
And on the topic of the development squad, Jason’s new role will see him oversee how the Under 23s are getting on under the guidance of their new head coach, Luke Tisdale.
“I’m really keen on still doing that, I go to the games with Luke, someone I worked together with for years so that development between me and him is really good.
“It brings him closer to the first team set-up because he’s working with me and what we are trying to create is the 23s play the same way with the same philosophy as the first team and I think me being with the first team helps that.
“I take the afternoon sessions with the development players, so I think that’s really key because we’ve had young players training with the first team all season so it’s really important that me and Luke put those players on development plans so we can both act on them whether they’re training with the 23s or the first team.
“Luke’s brilliant with the young players and it’s sort of the perfect role for him and now with me not being there, it gives him a little bit more room to grow and learn.
“Also he’s now getting to work with me, who’s with the first team and Adi and the Gaffer so he has the opportunity to work with those types of people and it’s been a great start to the season and the 23s are playing exactly like the first team.”
Despite his role stating he is now Head of Under 23 Development, Jason told how he is keen to defer away from the title of ‘Under 23s’ and use the title ‘development’.
“We’ve built a bigger squad here this season and now you see first team players playing Under 23s and we are keen not to call it the Under 23s and just call it development games and frame up to pros that it’s to develop them to get into the first team.
“I think the first team players that have played in that have probably took that on board this year and it’s been better than it’s ever been at this club.
“The first team players must and should try exactly the same in the development squad as the first team and at the moment we’ve got that so it must be something we’re doing right.”
With Farndon now settled into his new role, having begun at the start of the 2019/20 season, he spoke about how much he has been enjoying working with the first team.
“I’ve really enjoyed it.” He said.
“Pretty much straight away as soon as we came back in it was something, we discussed over the summer I was keen, and the club were keen to tie me down to the club.
“So this role came about and I had to think about it and where it goes and how it fits into my career and then spoke with the manager over the summer and he sort of sold the role to me really that I’d still be able to work with the young players at the club and then get to work with the first team.
“Then I went away on pre-season and pretty much from there the players found out and it’s been probably the worst kept secret at the club that I’ve been working with the first team.”