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INTERVIEW: John Dempster praises young Sky Blues as Birmingham Senior Cup journey continues

Tom Costello was on target as City's Under-21s progressed to the semi-finals...

16 March 2023

Interviews

INTERVIEW: John Dempster praises young Sky Blues as Birmingham Senior Cup journey continues

Tom Costello was on target as City's Under-21s progressed to the semi-finals...

16 March 2023

Sky Blues Under-21s coach John Dempster has praised his young Coventry City group after they booked their place in the final four of the Birmingham Senior Cup.

Playing against senior opposition in Coventry Sphinx, the young Sky Blues took the lead through Tom Costello before being held to a draw and forced into a penalty shootout in difficult weather conditions.

City's youngsters endured the pressure of the shootout to win the game, and will now face one of Alvechurch, Stourbridge, West Bromwich Albion U21s or Redditch to book their place in the final.

Coventry's talented Category 2 academy has now progressed further in the competition than many local Category 1 academies, including Premier League clubs Wolverhampton Wanderers and Aston Villa, and are now just 90 minutes away from the Club's first Birmingham Senior Cup final since 2007.

On the achievement of booking a semi-final place, Dempster said:

"In any competition, you want to get as far as possible and when you look at previous years, this is the further we have got in the Birmingham Senior Cup for some time. We're really pleased with that.

"It was a brilliant first half in difficult conditions and we moved the ball really well. We worked on that all week.

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"We were really pleased at half time with how the players had performed. The second half was far more challenging and credit must go to Coventry Sphinx. They put us under a lot of pressure and it became a real battle and a difficult game.

"t was the toughest game we've had in the competition so far this season and Sphinx were brilliant hosts at Sphinx Drive, and have wished us the best of luck for the remainder of the season."

On the performance of his young Sky Blues stars:

"It was brilliant to get over the line with the added pressure of the penalty shootout, under the lights. The players did very well.

"We had a mix of Under-17s, Under-18s and Under-21s players. This experience will only benefit them.

"This tournament gives the players a completely different experience, against players who are older, more physical and street-wise."

On goalscorer Tom Costello:

"Tom Costello has been training well. We decided it was the right time for him to go out on loan to Banbury United. There was interest over Christmas but we decided to keep him with us, playing in the Under-21s program.

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"It's great that he's getting out now and getting experience. 

"He has scored three penalties in recent weeks, which is a brilliant return. Now we need him to score more goals from open play.

"He has great composure and character, and long may that continue!"

On midfielder Isaac Moore, who once again impressed from midfield:

"Isaac was outstanding once again. He came off with a little injury but for an Under-17s player to perform the way he did was remarkable!

"There is already plenty of interest in him from across non-league, which says a lot for a central midfielder who is so young.

"His key attributes and quality were there to see last night, and he is definitely one for the future."


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