Sky Blue History – Listen To Latest Podcast By Ex CCFPA Chairman Jim (& Claudio) Out Now!

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Jim Brown

CCFPA’s recent former Chairman Jim Brown, author of many books on CCFC and the club’s official historian, has for many years offered Sky Blue fans a roughly weekly blog about all things Sky Blue, often featured in the Coventry Telegraph as well as publicised on this site. The blog can be found here.

Jim’s latest venture (this time online), in collaboration with log-time Sky Blue fan Claudio Cardellino, has kept up with the newer technologies and the pair have recently launched a podcast which can be found via Spotify and various other social media outlets.

The link for the latest show which looks at the turning point season of 1982-83 when there was an exodus of CCFC players, lots of young stars of the future (many local lads) and the leaving of two-season manager Dave Sexton. This created conditions for new manager Bobby Gould to be faced with rebuilding the Sky Blues squad almost from scratch. Legendary former CCFC manager Jimmy Hill was MD at that time and his stellar eputation was a little tarnished by JH‘s innovations of an all seater stadium and investment in a USA footballing franchise. Next week will look at that rebuilding in 1983-84.  Jim and Claudio consider, in the first of a two parter, the ups and downs of the 1982-83 season. Just click on the link below to listen:-

https://open.spotify.com/episode/7lhvztDyqYDHY0A5punM6h?si=6e4bcd468baf4c35.

The discussions between Jim and Claudio (and fellow contributors) are well worth a listen for fans of all the Sky Blue generations!!

PS There should be a video version of the series soon which can be found on YouTube.

 

 

Matchday Memories: On This Pre Season Day 2018 – Sky Blues Beat Young Toffees At La Manga

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Sky Blue gaffer Mark Robins

After a disappointing first pre-season warm up game for Mark Robins’ men when they lost 2-0 at Sutton United the squad decamped to Spain for further training where a Sky Blues XI met an Everton U23  side on this day (13th July 2018) at la Manga, Cartagena near Alicante. Twenty Sky Blues players were given the opportunity to impress the ‘gaffer’ during the game with plenty of tactical changes and substitutions.

The Sky Blues, as might be expected, ran out 3-1 winners over the Toffee’s youngsters. Returned from injury Tony Andreu was in the thick of things as the Sky Blues, containing a number of new signings, started to gel and there was much to admire by approximately 100 Sky Blues fans present in the crowd of around 150.

Tom Davies in the Sky Blue

The City goals came from three players all now CCFPA members. First central defender Tom Davies netted after twelve minutes and then striker Jonson Clarke-Harris five minutes later (both headers). A second half strike from Tony Andreu (on 64 minutes) completed the Sky Blue scoring. Everton‘s goal came from Nathan Broadhead after nine minutes before the hour mark.

Jonson in Sky Blue action

CCFC’s match report from their website can be found by clicking here and the report of Coventry Telegraph’s Gregg Evans is here.

Mark’s men that afternoon two years ago was (CCFPA members are underlined):-

First half: Liam O’Brien, Jordan Thompson, Tom Davies ©, Dom Hyam, Jak Hickman, Junior Brown, Callum Maycock, Junior Ogogo, Zain Westbrooke, Jonson Clarke-Harris and Jordan Ponticelli

Second Half: Lee Burge, Jack Grimmer, Jordan Thompson (Jak Hickman -67), Rod McDonald, Brandon Mason, Callum Maycock (Dom Hyam -60), Michael Doyle ©, Jordan Shipley, Tony Andreu, Zain Westbrooke (Jordan Ponticelli67) and Max Biamou

Tony Andreu at La Manga v Everton U23 (CCFC)

On their return to the UK, after an encouraging 2-1 win over an Aston Villa XI (away) behind closed  doors City failed to win any of their remaining three pre season friendlies losing 2-0 at Stevenage, 1-0 to Derby County (at Nuneaton‘s Liberty Way) and 5-2 to West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns at the end of that month. As we know all too well now the 2018-19 League One season ended with disappointment with City missing out on the play-offs but a creditable eight place finish in their first season back in the division was definitely an achievement in the circumstances and laid the foundations for the following season’s storming table topping performance.

CCFC 2018-19

Thanks to CCFPA’s Mike Young for sourcing the images.

 

Matchday Memories: On This Pre Season Day 2013 – Near Neighbours Borough Beaten By Sky Blues

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‘Elvis’- Sky Blue ‘gaffer’

On this day (13th July) 2013 the Sky Blues, under former Sky Blues player, CCFPA member and ‘gaffer’ Steven Pressley kicked off their pre-season with what has almost become a traditional friendly fixture against near neighbours Nuneaton. This season, of course, was when the Sky Blues faced their first period ‘in exile’ playing home fixtures at Sixfields the ground of  Northampton Town and there was a demonstration by City fans before this game. The match, at the Liberty Way stadium of ‘the Borough’, proved a bit of a stroll for the Sky Blues preparing for their upcoming League One season. The final result was a 4-1 victory to the visitors in front of a crowd of 1,595 containing many Sky Blues supporters.

As is often the case in these try-outs the Sky Blues (as did ‘the Borough’) fielded an almost completely reshuffled side in the second half the only two players completing the full ninety minutes, namely Jack Finch and Jordan Clarke (both now CCFPA members).

Callum in Sky Blue action

It was the hosts that went into a sixth minute lead through a piece of opportunism from Louis Moult but that was the best it got for them as first ‘Cov Kid’ (also now a CCFPA member) Callum Wilson struck an equaliser, catching a Nuneaton defender in possession, eight minutes later to send the two sides in all square at half-time.

Leon in the Sky Blue

The second half, with fresh City legs from nine new players saw Sky Blue dominance which was converted into a goal on 53 minutes with a composed header from Leon Clarke converting a cross from (now CCFPA member) Cyrus Christie.

The final two Sky Blues goals came from an 84th minute penalty from Leon to bag his second after Franck Moussa (another CCFPA member) was brought down in the box and then Franck himself converted City’s fourth just a minute later.

Franck in the Sky Blue

The 4-1 victory was thoroughly deserved by the League One side over their non-league neighbours. Former Sky Blue defender and CCFPA member David McNamee played quite well in the ‘Boro’s defence.

CCFC’s report (by Nick Connell) of  of the game can be found here.
 
‘Elvis’ fielded the following players (second half subs in brackets, CCFPA members underlined):-
Joe Murphy (Lee Burge), Aaron Phillips (Cyrus Christie), Blair Adams (Ryan Haynes), Jack Finch, Jordan Clarke, John Fleck (Conor Thomas), Carl Baker (Franck Moussa), Adam Barton (Louis Garner), Ben Maund (Leon Clarke), Callum Wilson (Billy Daniels) and Eli Bako (Leon Lobjoit).
 
Kevin Wilkin’s side comprised (half time subs unless indicated):-
Lawrie Walker, David McNamee (Luke Blakeley), Gareth Deane (Delroy Gordon), Theo Streete (Jack Ashton), Amari’i Bell (Danny Andrew), Wes York (Conor Taylor), James Armson (Daniel Sleath), Phil Trainer (Jonathan Adams), Marcus Bellamy, Louis Moult (Cecil Nyoni-65) and Greg Pearson (Adam Walker) Unused subs:– Gavin Cowan, Omar, Lyseden & Westward
 
Match Officials:- John Brooks (referee) Mark Billingham/Neil Pratt (assistants)

CCFC 2013-14

After the game Steven Pressley and his side continued their pre-season preparations with a three match tour of Germany and Holland winning one, losing one and drawing one.  There were four more pre-season games in the UK with the Sky Blues winning at Cheltenham Town and Mansfield Town and losing at Fleetwood Town and Oxford United.

If ‘exile’ from the Ricoh wasn’t enough, in August the club were ‘awarded’ a ten point deduction in their forthcoming League One campaign as a consequence of going into administration. Despite these handicaps the team produced some good performances and survived in eighteenth place at the end of the season.

Thanks to CCFPA’s Mike Young for sourcing the images.

 

Matchday Memories: On This Day 2008- Sky Blues Swiss Bound For Pre-Season Friendlies

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Chris Coleman

On this day (July 13th) in 2008 the Sky Blues set off for Switzerland as part of the club’s pre-season training programme.

Here’s Coventry Telegraph’s Andy Turner‘s report at the time:-

Chris Coleman‘s Sky Blues squad, complete with new signing Freddy Eastwood, were due to fly to Geneva from Luton and then travel by coach to the picturesque resort of Crans Montana where they will be based. The players were expected to do a late training session this afternoon and face a full programme tomorrow ahead of Wednesday’s opening match against Romanian top-flight side FC Brasov in Martigny.

City are also due to play Swiss side FC Stade Nyonnais on Friday before returning back to the UK at the weekend and resuming training at Warwick University next week.

Freddy in Sky Blue action

I am pleased with the way the boys have come back,” said manager Coleman. “They had a tough first week in Austria but they coped quite well, and physically they look quite good and their attitude towards it has been first class. Pre-season is always tough for any player physically and mentally, so we have tried to mix it up and spend one week here and one week away to change the environment and surroundings for them mentally, and so far so good. The big kick-off against Norwich City on August 9 is what we are working towards and beyond that, but we have got to make sure they are in the best shape they can be. It doesn’t matter how well pre-season goes, the first game is always really tough.

“It’s normally very hot, the grounds are usually quite hard so it doesn’t matter what preparation you do, the lads usually find the first one really hard”.

Sky Blues squad 2008-09

Thanks to CCFPA’s Mike Young for sourcing the images.