Coventry City were pleased to announce the appointment of Adam Bridgeford as the new Academy Head of Coaching earlier this month.
Bridgeford joins the Sky Blues having departed a similar role in the academy of League Two side, Cambridge United, where he had spent the last six seasons.
Now as he looks to take up a new role with the Sky Blues, he said one of the massive draws for him was the rich history in developing players over the years.
He said: “Coventry is a massive club with a massive history and a club that’s clearly on the up and moving in the right direction and for an academy member of the staff the main thing, that there’s a clear pathway for players to the first team.
“The club has a really good history of bringing through academy products and I think having worked in the academy system for a while, the one thing everyone says about Coventry City is it’s a great catchment area and there are a lot of good players around.”
Bridgeford becomes the latest appointment to the Coventry Academy, after Dan Bolas took over as Academy Manager and John Dempster came in as Lead Professional Development Phase Coach.
With there being new arrivals over the last few months at the Academy, Bridgeford told how he believes it a good time to be involved with the Sky Blues.
“I think it’s an exciting time because it’s a chance for us to review things and reflect on what’s gone on in the past and try and put an exciting programme in place which can continue to take this academy forward.
“One, because the first team are doing so well and there’s a feel good factor around the club anyway and two because a lot of the academy stuff are new into the roles and that allows us to get together as a group of staff and create something and that’s quite exciting.”
Adam leaves behind a club in Cambridge, which he believes will continue to thrive in his absence, but the opportunity to leave and join Coventry was a ‘no-brainer’.
“Cambridge are a brilliant club with brilliant staff and brilliant people there and I had done six seasons and I think we were quite forward thinking academy for where the club sit; the middle of league two and we had probably stretched the academy as far as we could take it with regards to resources because we had maximised what we could do.
“I think it’s been left in a really good place for players to try and break into the first team and they will continue to do that there, but it was time to get a new challenge and the opportunity came up at Coventry and it was a no-brainer with the size of the club and the history of producing players and it’s the right step for me in my career as well.”
Bridgeford officially started his role at the start of last week and upon his arrival he revealed how will be assessing the set-up at the academy as one of his first jobs.
“The first few weeks I’m very much reviewing everything, observing everything and getting to know all the players and all the staff.
“Most importantly in my role I will be reviewing the coaching curriculum and the games programme and see what the coaches are delivering and why are they delivering it and what are the players getting out of it.
“Also, its about meeting all the staff and seeing what direction they want to move in and obviously we have a new Academy Manager and he has his own ideas and thoughts and the role of the Head of Coaching really is to get everyone’s ideas thoughts and put it all together and make it the best programme we can and make sure its all in line with a one club policy and a one club feel.”
However, the main aim and long-term goal for Adam is to continue the rich history at Coventry City of producing players to play in the first team.
“The number one for any academy member of staff is always to get players into the first team and that’s always the number one and my role is to try and help and assist in that process.
“Developing all the players that come into us is important and making sure when they leave the academy, whether that’s for Coventry’s first team or leaving to go into the big wider world, that they leave better people and that’s the same for the coaches as well in my role.
“We have great examples of coaches developing at this club with Luke Tisdale and Jason Farndon progressing from the academy into the first team set up and under-23 set up and if I can help other coaches do the same then I will be satisfied.”