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INTERVIEW: Joel Latibeaudiere on Coventry City transfer, being a leader and Jake Bidwell reunion

The young defender has signed a four-year deal with Coventry City...

18 July 2023


INTERVIEW: Joel Latibeaudiere on Coventry City transfer, being a leader and Jake Bidwell reunion

The young defender has signed a four-year deal with Coventry City...

18 July 2023

Joel Latibeaudiere is excited to begin his Coventry City career after putting pen to paper on a four-year contract with the Sky Blues.

The young defender left Swansea City at the end of the 2022/23 campaign, after an impressive three years on the Welsh south coast.

Impressive performances for the Swans earned the Manchester City academy graduate his first Jamaica call-up, with whom he has spent the last month competing for the Gold Cup.

Jamaica, with Latibeaudiere an ever-present, stormed to the semi-finals before defeat against Mexico ended their campaign. 

Now back in the United Kingdom, the defender will rest up to ensure he is ready to join his new Sky Blues teammates well ahead of the 2023/24 campaign.

Firstly Joel, congratulations on an impressive Gold Cup campaign with Jamaica. How was the experience and how are you feeling now?

Thank you for the warm welcome. Yeah, it was a really great experience. Playing for Jamaica for the first time, professionally, was really important for me and my family.

To travel to the United States and play in some fantastic stadiums, in front of thousands of people, it was a really great thing to experience and live.

I really enjoyed my time away with the Jamaican squad.

So what was it that attracted you to the Sky Blues?

When I first spoke to the Gaffer, we had a good meeting. He was so excited for the new season, especially coming off the back of last season and his entire way of playing football, the playing style impressed me. Coventry has always been a tough opponent.

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I also have some good friends already in the squad and they had nothing but positive things to say. I can't wait.

So the manager has laid out his vision to you, but what has he had to say about the Club?

Just that it's a huge Club, that means so much to the local community. I saw a whole half of Wembley Stadium covered in Sky Blue during the Play-Off Final and that was amazing to see. 

It's a huge City, with a big fan base, and I am excited to be here.

You'll have seen how well Callum Doyle, Jonathan Panzo and Luke McNally performed here last season. How much did their success play a part in your decision to choose City?

It had a big part to play. I am close to Panz' and I have spoken to him about the Club. He was so positive about Coventry and said the Club improved him as a player, both on and off the pitch.

This is a big step for me and I want to do the same: get better as the season goes on.

You know Jake Bidwell (Swansea) and Kasey Palmer (Jamaica) too. What did they have to say about Coventry?

Yeah, Jake is a really good friend of mine. He was at Swansea alongside me for a while. He was the first person I spoke to and he loves it here. He loves working under the Gaffer and Adi, too.

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He also told me how great it is to live around Coventry, which was big for me.

I've seen the stuff that Coventry play and it is really exciting, which I know was similar for Kasey. He knew Adi and he knew what to expect.

How important are those connections when you join a new Club?

It is big. To be honest, the football world is small. Everyone knows everyone, but having a few boys who can help you settle in will really help me a lot.

So you're a right-sided defender, we know that, but what can the fans expect to see from you in Sky Blue?

They can expect positive play, getting on the ball. They can expect to see me playing a part in building up play. I also love a big tackle, and going to win the ball.

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I consider myself a leader. I have been one from youth level and it's a role I've naturally fallen into. I wore the armband at Swansea, which was the first time in my senior career I had done so. That was a good experience.

As I said, hopefully I can bring that here now.

What are your aims then, as you look ahead to your time at Coventry?

I am looking forward to this next chapter now. I have had my introduction to the Championship, now I feel like I can really kick on and help Coventry to get to where I believe they should be, which is the Premier League.

That is what I am here to do and that is what I will try to bring to the squad. 

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Your first competitive game could come against Leicester City in the M69 Derby. How excited are you to get going?

I can't wait to get going. I remember seeing it when the fixtures came out. I am buzzing about it. It's a derby but it's also away, and I love an away derby. We're also playing against a side who are going to be one of the top competitors in the Championship. It will be a good game to see where we are at early on.

I am really excited for the game, really excited for the season, and even excited just to get into training and meet all the boys. I've only heard great things.

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