Matchday Memories: On This Day 2012 – City Kick Off Pre Season Hammering Hinckley 8-0!

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The teams shake hands

Richard Shaw, Lee Carsley & Andy Thorne in the dugout

 

 

 

 

 

Preparing for their upcoming League One season after relegation from the Championship the previous season Andy Thorn’s Sky Blues travelled to Hinckley United‘s Greene King Stadium for their first pre-season friendly on this day (July 14th) in 2012.

Their relatively young team went ‘goal crazy’ racking up eight goals without reply against their non-league hosts in front of 1,392 fans (many from Coventry) with seven different scorers getting onto the goal sheet!

It might have been more but, with new defensive signing (from French club Nice) Kevin Malaga prominent, the Sky Blues were content with a brace from Will Roberts (57 & 63 minutes) and one each from Gary McSheffrey (three minutes), Louis Garner (31), Roy O’Donovan (35), Jordan Willis (65), Aaron Phillips (81) and Shaun Jeffers (85). 

Jordan Willis in the Sky Blue

Roy O’Donovan in the Sky Blue

Aaron Phillips in the Sky Blue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Sheffers’ grabbed the first with a deflected shot three minutes in. Just after the half hour midfield general (and now Association member) Carl Baker slipped Louis in to double the Sky Blues lead and then the youngster expertly broke the Hinckley offside trap to enable Roy to net one before the break with City 3-0 up.

Gary McSheffrey in Sky Blue action

Louis Garner in the Sky Blue

Though it was all change for the Sky Blues in the second half, with experienced men John Fleck, Kevin Kilbane and Stephen Elliott on the pitch, the scoring continued and on 57 minutes young Will Roberts made it four and then doubled his tally five minutes later with a header after good work from Kilbane and Jeffers.

Only a minute later Jordan fired home off the cross bar to make it 6-0.  City’s seventh came from Aaron who was played in by Fleck. Sean then got on the score sheet to round things off with only minutes left.  CCFC’s full match report of the game can be found by clicking on the link here.

Will Roberts in the Sky Blue

Shaun Jeffers in the Sky Blue

Thorn’s terrific team that day (half time subs. in brackets,: CCFPA members underlined) was:-

Chris Dunn (Lee Burge), Jordan Clarke (Jordan Willis), William Edjenguele (Richard Wood), Kevin Malaga (Aaron Phillips), Chris Hussey (Kevin Kilbane), Gary McSheffrey (Conor Thomas), Louis Rankin (John Fleck), Carl Baker (Stephen Elliott), Billy Daniels (Shaun Jeffers), Roy O’Donovan (Will Roberts) and Joe Henderson (Joe Pegg)
 

Roy powers through

The Hinckley side managed by Dean Thomas lined up as follows (half time subs in brackets):-

Scott Furlong (Rob Peet), Jack Lane, Mark Dudley, Danny Bragoli (Paul Lister), Declan Towers (?? Luke), Ben Richards-Everton, Sean Wilkin (Lee Hildreth), Brodie Blankley (Greg Downes), Jason Bradley (Curtis Shaw), Pavol Gierti (Harvey Headley), Sam Shilton (Matt Brown)(?? Hollis(68)).
 
Lee and Sam were young former Coventry City players
 

Mark Robins gets his 1st taste of CCFC management

The Sky Blues had a very mixed pre-season in front of the 2012-13 campaign winning games at Brora Rangers in Scotland, Accrington Stanley, Port Vale (behind closed doors) and Bristol Rovers but conceding defeat at Ross County and Inverness Caledonian Thistle in Scotland as well as at Wrexham and our local neighbours Nuneaton Town.

As far as the League One season was concerned three straight draws at the start of the season led to Andy Thorn (now an Association member) getting the sack in late August. Fellow CCFPA member Richard Shaw took over in a caretaker capacity until Mark Robins (in his first CCFC ‘coming’) arrived towards the end of September with the club in the relegation zone.

‘Elvis’- Sky Blue ‘gaffer’

Results picked up extensively and, despite the ten point penalty from going into administration, the team was relatively comfortable in the League.

However, when Mark, clearly unhappy with the off-field situation, decamped for Huddersfield Town at the start of February (now CCFPA member) Lee Carsley took over as Caretaker. Then, in early March another Sky Blue former player (now CCFPA member) Steven Pressley took over at the helm to see out the season.

Leon Clarke‘s goals put him second in the League’s hot shot table and CCFC would have finished firmly mid table but not for the points penalty and were pleased to survive the season in fifteenth spot though exile at Northampton Town‘s Sixfields Stadium was in prospect.

Thanks to CCFPA’s Mike Young (& Dean Nelson) for sourcing the images.

 

Matchday Memories: On This Pre-Season Day 2005 – QPR Mug Sky Blues For Copa Ibiza

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Tournament Programme

On this day (July 14th) in 2005 Sky Blues manager Micky Adams‘ Sky Blues were in Spain facing Championship rivals Queen’s Park Rangers in the Final of a four club tournament (The Copa Ibiza) completing the first part of the Club’s pre-season preparations. The Sky Blues would end up being defeated in controversial and fractious circumstances.

The former Sky Blue player turned ‘gaffer’ (and now CCFPA member) had seen the tournament start well for his boys as the Sky Blues defeated League One Huddersfield Town in their Semi Final with a lone goal from Gary McSheffrey. Q.P.R. had no trouble beating local side San Antonio de Portmanay FC 5-0 in their initial game in the Copa De Ibiza tournament.

Ticket for the final

The Sky Blues game against the Rangers kicked off at at the late hour of 9pm so there had been plenty of time for spectators to partake of sun and sangria before kick off as Sky Blues fans among the 1,300 crowd were outnumbered by perhaps four to one. There were concerns about trouble at the game before it started and both managers appealed for restraint prior to the game but off-field problems quickly arose as play developed.

Dele in the Sky Blue

The Sky Blues moved into an encouraging two goal first half lead from (now CCFPA member) ‘Dele Adebola after 25 minutes and Gary McSheffrey five minutes later but then fighting broke out in the stands as, allegedly, fans from London attacked elements in the Sky Blue contingent in an unsegregated part of the ground. This caused police to wade in with batons to restore order and a delay of several minutes in the game. Micky and the Rangers’ manager Ian Holloway called for calm and the match went on.

Gary in the Sky Blue

City fans were mystified when what appeared to be a perfectly good goal from ‘Sheffers’ (which would have given the Sky Blues a 3-1 lead) was ruled out eleven minutes from time  by the officials (ref. Colin Plummer). The three second-half Rangers’ goals, a brace from Dean Sturridge (47 and 80 minutes) and a late winner seven minutes from time from Kevin Gallen turned the game on its head and helped to ease the tension in the stadium as the trouble-makers latched onto the Londoner’s victory.

You can read a vivid contemporary eye witness report here from CCFPA Associate member Kev Monks who was one of the Sky Blue fans who travelled to Ibiza in what was apparently a not particularly well organised official tour and was present for both City games.

Sky Blue Manager Micky

Micky’s men lined up as follows for the final (CCFPA members underlined):-

Chris Day (Mark Paston -2), Andrew Whing, Richard Duffy, Matt Heath, Robert Page, Isaac Osbourne, James Scowcroft (Liam Davis -1), Michael Doyle, Dele Adebola (Graham Barrett -3), Gary McSheffrey and Claus Bech Jorgensen.

Both Chris and Mark were on ‘keepers trial but neither were offered a contract

QPR‘s players were

First Half:

Jake Cole, Kevin Gallen, Marc Bircham (Tommy Doherty), Ian Evatt, Aaron Brown, Paul Furlong, Matthew Rose, Adam Miller, Marcus Bignot, Georges Santos and Adam Chambers

Second Half:

Simon Royce, Danny Shittu, Stefan Moore, Lee Cook, Tommy Doherty, Dominic Shimmin, Matthew Hislop, Marcus Bean, Dean Sturridge (Adam Chambers), Ugo ‘Hugo’ Ukah and Kevin Gallen

Rangers’ Ian Evatt is a ‘Cov.Kid’ and their forward on this day Paul Furlong had started his top flight professional career with the Sky Blues from 1991-92

After the game further incidents between fans apparently took place in some of the bars in San Antonio

CCFC 2005-06

City only won one of their remaining five pre-season games, two games in Ireland and fixtures at Rushden & Diamonds, Walsall and Port Vale.

However, in the subsequent Championship season the Sky Blues got their full revenge over Q.P.R. beating them in that first ever game at the Ricoh by 3-0 (and also doing the double by getting a 1-0 win in London)! The Sky Blues finished eighth in 2005-06 whilst Rangers languished in 21st position just above the three relegated clubs Crewe Alexandra, Millwall and Brighton.

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

 

Members News: Sam’s Now A Blades Man!

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Sam Signs For Sheffield Utd.

Sam McCallum in the Sky Blue

Fairly recent Association recruit and former Coventry City defender Sam McCallum has found himself a new club over the close season! It has just been announced that he has joined Sheffield United on a free transfer penning a four year commitment to the Blades. Sam transfers following his previous contract with Norwich City running out! The 23 year old played for the Sky Blues U18s and U23s before becoming an impressive attack minded left sided defender in CCFC’s first team. Sam joins fellow CCFPA member and recent Sky Blue favourite Gus Hamer at Bramall Lane!

Sam was born in Canterbury in Kent on 2nd September 2000 (attending Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys in that Cathedral city) and began his career at local non-League club Herne Bay. The Sky Blues spotted his potential whilst developing his skills at Jamie Vardy‘s V9 Academy and snapped the youngster up in August 2018 when we were a League One team.

CCLSC’s Gary Maxim presented Sam with his CCFPA membership tie

From our own Development squad Sam soon broke through into first team contention with the Sky Blues and made his debut in November 2018 in our EFL Trophy two goal defeat against Cheltenham Town coming off the bench after 55 minutes to replace Brandon Mason. Three further substitute appearances followed before making his full debut at left-back in City’s 1-1 draw at the Ricoh with Wimbledon in January 2019. He became much more of a regular in the 2019-20 season and was so impressive that Sam reportedly attracted the interest of several Premier League clubs including Liverpool and Leicester City.

However, it was Norwich City that got the young player’s signature, coming in with a bid of £3.75m at the end of January 2020 which was accepted. The Canaries obviously saw Sam as one for the future and immediately loaned him back to the Sky Blues to the end of the season to continue his development. On 20 September 2020, Sam was once more loaned to CCFC for the 2020–21 season for his third spell with the club. By the time he finally left CCFC Sam had totalled 84 appearances (L 65+9s; FAC 5; LC 1+1s; Other 2+1s) and scored four goals (3L & 1FC).

Sam McCallum in Sky Blue action

At that point still to make his league debut for the Canaries (who dropped down to become the Sky Blues’ Championship rivals from 2020-21) Sam first pulled on the Norwich first team shirt in an EFL Cup appearance that season. For 2021-22 the Premier League Canaries chose to loan him out to a different Championship club, CCFC’s rivals, Queen’s Park Rangers and he played for them nineteen times scoring twice! At the end of that August he played against City in the Hoops 2-0 win over the Sky Blues in Shepherds Bush! Back with the Canaries the season before last he went on to feature in 60 games for the Canaries netting once.

On moving to his latest club Sam told the Sheffield United website

“It is a big club and I enjoy the style of football,” said McCallum of his switch to the Blades. “I’ve always liked the football which the manager has implemented into the club and hopefully I’ll fit hand-in-hand with that. The football United play is the football I want to be playing for the next couple of years.

“I am looking forward to all the ambitions the manager has got here. I think the project going forward looks like it is going in the right direction again, so I wanted to be part of it.”

CCFPA Life President Joe Elliott talks to CCFC’s Sam McCallum & Morgan Williams when both were at CCFC

In his shortish six season career so far he has completed just 163 professional games scoring seven times! Sam continues to build a solid professional career and we look forward to seeing further progress in coming months and years. We know he is likely to be a busy man during this season but we would love to see him back in Coventry as our guest at an Association event.

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

 

Matchday Memories: On This Pre Season Day 1999 – Strachan’s Sky Blues Get Another German Tour Win

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Gordon the Gaffer

On this day (July 14th) in 1999 the Sky Blues were facing their penultimate season in the top flight after an occupancy of more than thirty years. Under the management of former player Gordon Strachan (now a CCFPA member) for his third full season in charge the Sky Blues had embarked on a four game German pre-season tour to bed the side in for the upcoming Premier League campaign.

Hadji in Action

Youssef in Sky Blue action

WGS had been busy in the transfer market with millions changing hands. Moroccan midfield pair (both now Association members) Youssef Chippo, £1m from FC Porto, and Moustapha Hadji (£4m from Deportivo La La Coruña) arrived to join young Norwegian winger Runnar Normann who cost £1m. City were also to see the immense talents of George Boateng (recently  appointed our new Assistant Manager in July 2024) go to local rivals Aston Villa for £4.5m and CCFPA member Darren Huckerby to Leeds United for £5.5m. This was also the season that the precocious young talent named Robbie Keane joined the Sky Blues from Wolverhampton Wanderers for £6m!

The Sky Blues had begun their tour two days earlier with a comprehensive 5-2 victory over F.V.Speyer and today they faced former Bundesliga side Karlsruher SC and the visitors again proved victorious. The Sky Blues took the game by the odd goal in three.

As the match report from the following day’s Coventry Telegraph tells us that City’s first goal after 39 minutes was stabbed home at the second attempt by now CCFPA member John Eustace (from a Gary McAllister corner) and a nippy second half sub  Darren Huckerby (also now an Association member) got the winner half an hour later. In between the Karlsruhe striker Marc Arnold had fashioned a headed equaliser on the stoke of half-time. A small crowd of 1,349 was present to watch.

The Sky Blues team lined up as follows (substitutes in brackets and CCFPA members underlined):-

John Eustacein Sky Blue action

Magnus Hedman, Richard Shaw, Paul Williams, Gary Breen (Barry Ferguson -85), Gary McAllister, George Boateng (Gavin Strachan -84), Steve Froggatt, John Eustace (Barry Quinn -46), Noel Whelan (Trond-Egil Soltvedt -74), John Aloisi (Darren Huckerby -46) and Youssef Chippo (Runnar Normann -61).

Whilst the full German side is not yet to hand we know that goalkeeper Simon Jentzch played as well as Manfred Bender, Martin Braun, Michael Molata, Marc Arnold, Rainer Krieg and Christian Fahrmann.

Hucks in the Sky Blue

The final two games on the tour were even more comprehensive victories with City beating SC Idar-Oberstein by five clear goals on July 16th and going even better two days after that destroying SC Weinsheim 8-1.

Back in the UK for the remaining pre-season games Strachan’s men lost 3-1 at their fairly recent landlords Birmingham City before beating Aberdeen by the only goal of the game in Scotland. On the last day of this month of July the Sky Blues demolished midland rivals West Bromwich Albion in a testimonial match at Highfield Road for Sky Blue legend Cyrille Regis (who became a CCFPA member well before his untimely death in 2018) before losing their last pre-season game at Hereford United by the only goal.

CCFC 1999-2000

This pattern of results in England pre-season presaged the Sky Blues league season. Although they became dubbed ‘The Entertainers’ for their attractive style of play and winning a fantastic full dozen of their home League games at Highfield Road they were dismal away and failed to win a single game on their travels in the Premier League! On the strength of their home form City finished a reasonable fourteenth eleven points clear of trouble.

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