SBitC ‘Walking Football’ Continues This Thursday at St Finbarr’s & Next Monday at Bedworth

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SBiTC Walking Football A5 1pp (print)Walking Football, the popular new health initiative designed for the over 50s is quickly expanding across the country and CCFPA is encouraging you to take part. If you live in the Coventry area you have two choices to join in:- either at one of its first bases at St. Finbarr’s Sports & Social Club (303 Holbrooks Lane CV6 4DG) every Thursday or at Bedworth Town’s ground, the Bedworth Oval on Monday mornings.

Locally, each ‘Walking Football’ event is organised by  Sky Blue in the Community (SBiTC)  supremo, former Sky Blue defender and CCFPA member David Busst along with SBiTC’s Hiedi Sloan. The sessions which are supported by, amongst others, CCFPA, Cov Support News Service and CCFC Diamond Club take place from 10:30am until noon at a cost of £3 which includes refreshments.  You can find out more by contacting the Sky Blues in the Community Team by Email: , or Telephone: 02476 786 314, or Text: 07813 455 531.

If you’re over 50 years old and would like to get involved you can’t do better than join us in these popular sessions (see our reports on the fun to be had at previous sessions in earlier news items)! New participants join every week and early this month a record 35 players attended St Finbarr’s enabling the organisers to field five teams in a round robin tournament for the first time! According to CFPA committee member Frank Pritchard the games were very competitive and showed commitment from the whole group including the several ‘first-timers’ that tried it out and found it much to their liking!

Calling All Sky Blue Tradespeople: Ryton Needs You!

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rytonAfter a difficult 2014-15 Sky Blues League One campaign the close season is now upon us but the 2015-16 season will be upon us sooner than we all might like!

On Monday came the good news that Tony Mowbray has shown confidence in and commitment to the club by signing up permanently to head up a push for better times next season.

CCFC-Training-Ground-Ryton-As he says in his recent message to Sky Blues’ fans-

“We are beginning the process of building the structure that will help us deliver a successful team on the pitch so that you can enjoy the match-day experience on a Saturday afternoon or Tuesday evening, and being a Coventry City fan again. Let’s all enjoy the journey together”

The Ricoh pitch is being relaid to provide a playing surface fit for the quality of football necessary to give the Sky Blues a better shot at promotion next term but their training ground at Ryton is in need of a substantial spruce up before the players return to face the challenges of the new season.

CCFPA has always been keen to support initiatives that work to support links between former, current and future Sky Blue players and the wider Sky Blue family.

As part of the search for ways to rebuild a sense of community around the Sky Blues, Andy Harvey the CCFC Ryton Training Ground Operations Manager, has asked us to publicise that there are opportunities for local tradespeople to help give the Club’s Ryton Training Complex a facelift and refurbishment.

If you are a professional plumber, carpenter, painter & decorator or electrician (or have any allied trades skill) and you have some space in your work diary Andy would like to talk to you about job opportunities he has available starting immediately.

Please contact Andy on 02476 217670 to discuss the relevant terms and conditions and what needs to be accomplished. Why not play your part in what all Sky Blues fans will hope will be a new Sky Blue Revolution and ensure the training facilities at Ryton are the best that they can be for current, future (and former) players ?


Health Matters to CCFPA: Osteo Arthritis Research Update

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KneeBack in March we reported that CCFPA had teamed up with researchers at Nottingham University’s School of Clinical Sciences to support an investigation into ‘Osteoarthritis Risk in Retired Professional Footballers’.

Their project, supported by PFA, the FA and FIFA (amongst others) aims to break new ground in investigating the prevalence and risk of osteo-arthritis amongst ex professional footballers (matched to a similar group of non footballers). Their aim is to find out whether the rigours of playing the game has exacerbated the risk of contracting the condition especially in affecting the the chances of osteoarthritis of the knee joints.

scan0002CCFPA committee member Mike Young has been leading the Association’s collaboration with the University’s City Hospital facility in Nottingham and its lead researchers Gwen Fernandes and Sanjay Parekh with the first phase of the research, organising the delivery of a detailed postal questionnaire to all of the eligible British members of the Association aged over 40. This was also done by a number of other Former Player bodies around the country (including, for example, the PFA, and FPAs in Derby & Cardiff and others) in an attempt to contact as large a sample of possible of former professionals.  Gwen reports that nationally the survey has produced 1115 returned questionnaires so far representing a very respectable response rate of around 25% of those sent out to all recipients.

On behalf of the the Nottingham University researchers CCFPA sent out just over 200 questionnaires to eligible members and, to date, at least thirty one (around 15%) of our former players replied – though others had likely responded earlier to requests from the PFA and/or other clubs they had played for.

The second phase of the research which is now underway (with Cambridge as the pilot site) involves selected former players being invited for a free clinical examination (involving a specialist knee x-ray scan) at a convenient local hospital. The news is that, of the replies from our former players over two thirds (21 FPs) have already consented to take part when phase two it is rolled out to the rest of the country! Gwen confirms that all 21 former players who consented to take part in the x-ray stage of our research from the CCFPA sample will be contacted and an appointment arranged for them mostly likely in the summer (probably within the next 3 months). Thanks to all Association members who have consented to take part in the research!

When completed the project’s results should show, for the first time, the extent to which osteo-arthritis is a special challenge for the footballing profession (and medically what, possibly age-related, impact it develops). This could not only benefit the treatment of past and current professionals but also lead to preventative strategies for younger players who are taking up the game.


Legends at the Cross Roads. Can Do Better?

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The 'Legends' Team

The ‘Legends’ Team

In their first charity game of the close season the Sky Blues’ Legends side took on a Coventry & Warwicks CrossRoads Care Select XI last Sunday (17th may 2015) at the Highway Club, Tile Hill, Coventry and they must have been a bit rusty since they lost convincingly!

Crossroads 1The family fun day, with a range of other attractions apart from the match, benefitted the Stars Club for Children and Young Adults with disabilities, Baginton Fields Special Needs School and the M.P.S. Society.  The game itself kicked off at 2.30pm and the Legends team included senior Sky Blues heroes Dave Bennett, Dave Busst, Claus Bech Jorgensen and Lee Carsley plus some former CCFC junior players.

Crossroads 2The Legends XI Fixture Secretary, CCFPA committee member Dean Nelson, sent in the following report and photos on what was evidently a greatly enjoyable day for all concerned and a successful one for the charities!

“Hundreds turned up to see CCFC legends side containing Lee Carsley, David Busst, alongside CCFPA committee members Claus Bech Jorgensen and Dave Bennett. Also in the side were former CCFC reserves from the 1990s, Paul O’Brien and Scott Goodwin, and CCFPA Committee member Dean Nelson who was a late call up and wore the goalkeeping gloves. Fellow committee member Sarah Jane Morris was also there as photographer.

The Crossroads side contained players that had just won a Coventry league title so the legends were up against it from the start. However, the legends played a bit like Aston Villa did recently as they conceded five goals in 20 minutes. Dean (wearing the unlucky 13 number on the back of his goalie shirt) tried his best but to no avail; his 56 years had finally caught up with him! Claus pulled a goal back with a volley from just inside the box and the match, which lasted 30 minutes, finished 6-1 to the Crossroads Charity XI.

Then and Now!

Then and Now!

Another game was played with the City legends borrowing players from the team that had just beat them in order to play another local side. Dean was able to retire gracefully being replaced by a much younger (by about 30 years) keeper ! This match was more evenly matched with former Sky Blue Lee Carsley scoring a simple tap in after rounding the keeper. A great time was had by all, but don’t ask Mr Busst about his pre-match parking; when returning to his car after the game he found that the Audi garage next door had locked his car behind their barriers and he was unable to get out!”

Thanks to everyone who took part and made the day a great success. Keep checking back on this site for news of more Legends fixtures coming up during the summer including the next one next Sunday 24th May at Atherstone Town FC).