Mystery Man Revealed: Louis Carey Joins CCFPA

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Carey, L (Louis) 2004-05We have been leaving hints all week but, at last, we can reveal with pleasure that the Association’s newest recruit is none other than Louis Carey. He is unusual in this era of wandering professionals in that Louis has only ever played for a couple of clubs in his professional career of nearly a decade and well over 550 league appearances. Remarkably, apart from half a year with the Sky Blues his whole professional career was spent with his home-town club.  A Scottish U21 International, the stylish central defender was brought to Highfield Road by Peter Reid and spent the less than happy 2004-05 season with CCFC and made 23 league appearances for the Sky Blues.

Louis (left) presented with his tie by CCFPA's Bob Eales

Louis (left) presented with his tie by CCFPA’s Bob Eales

This spell with the Sky Blues was sandwiched between two significant periods spent at his home town club Bristol City. He came up through the ranks at Ashton Gate made his debut for the ‘Bristol Babes’ in October 1995.  A regular first teamer in both periods (both as a right and centre back over nine seasons in total) Louis was part of the Bristol side which won promotion to the Championship in 1997/1998 and he signed a four-year deal for the Bristol club in July 2000 before signing for Coventry City in 2004 after rejecting terms.

Returning to more congenial home pastures after only six months at Coventry and in time for the 2005-06 season, eventually on 29 December 2013, Louis made his 646th appearance (in all competitions) for City surpassing the legendary John Atyeo to become the club’s new record holder. Clearly Louis has always been a consistent and model professional and, since hanging up his boots at the end of last season, has been doing scouting work which is why he was at the Ricoh last Saturday running the rule over the players of both his former clubs.

No doubt Bristol City’s 3-1 victory over the Sky Blues was pleasing to the Bristolian yet signing for CCFPA shows he still has affection for his time in Coventry. Though initially hard to identify in his current heavily hirsute incarnation CCFPA’s Frank Pritchard signed him up and took the photo of fellow committee man Bob Eales presenting Louis with his official membership badge and tie (right).

We welcome Louis to the Association and look forward to seeing him back at the Ricoh some time in the near future at one of our events.

Gael Lives His Dream Video

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Bigirimana, G (Gael) 2010-11Well worth a watch is a short film about former Coventry City starlet and CCFPA member Gael Bigirimana.  Gael’s video discusses how his faith has underpinned his football career since the football mad Burundi born 11 year old came over to Britain and Coventry with his family as a refugee from the genocidal troubles in Rwanda and Burundi. Though he had no boots or kit he attended CCFC’s training ground and through persistance managed to get a trial which led him to signing up for the CCFC Academy.

After a relatively few outings for the Under 18s and U21s Gael made it to the Sky Blues first team earning a professional contract in summer 2011 and debuting in August that year. He won the Championship Apprentice of the Year Award in March 2012 and eventually turned out for the first team in 26 league appearances. His skilful qualities and obvious potential impressed scouts from St James’ Park Newcastle who snapped him up in July 2012. With United he has so far made less than twenty Premiership appearances since then but has two England U20 Caps to his name. His story is truly an inspirational one for a football mad boy from a humble African background who is living a dream in the English top division!

Gail (left) with Membership Sec Mike Young signs uo to CCFPA in Feb.2012

Gail (left) is signed up by CCFPA’s Membership Secretary Mike Young in Feb.2012

To see this brief biopic click on http://www.show2.me/en/video/gael-bigirimana-my-story?ep=zoNaZNZOZNZN. (Thanks to CCFPA Associate Member Kev Monks at the Cov Support News Service for drawing attention to this item (www.coventrycity-mad.co.uk)

More on Our Latest Mystery Recruit

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L.C. teaser3QuestionAs reported on Tuesday Bob Eales and Frank Pritchard of CCFPA ‘collared’ another CCFC former player at last Saturday’s home game at Bristol City. This central defender played for the Sky Blues in the mid noughties and is a rare professional footballer in having only played for two clubs (including CCFC) in a nine year professional career involving well over 500 league appearances.

Becoming a free agent after leaving his other club (where he became a legend) at the end of last season he has been doing some scouting work this season and was present in this capacity at the game when Frank and Bob caught up with him. He was probably quite pleased to see the performance of the unbeaten top of the table ‘Bristol Babes’ as they brushed aside the challenge of the current Sky Blues 3-1.

Here he is complete with a beard he did not sport whilst playing for the Sky Blues. We will reveal the full identity of our latest recruit in a couple of days. Keep checking this site if you want to learn who he is!!

Lee Here For the Posh on Saturday

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Carsley, L (Lee)CCFPA are very pleased to announce that popular former Sky Blue defender Lee Carsley is the latest former Sky Blues star to accept our invitation to be the Association’s ‘Special Guest’. Lee is a regular supporter of City Legends XI games and frequently turns out again in the Sky Blue to assist various charities in games organised by CCFPA members Dave Busst and Dave Bennett. Though he is keen to sign for CCFPA we have not managed to get him to put pen to paper so far for a variety of reasons so are hoping to get it sorted on Saturday!

Lee will be glad to be back at the Ricoh again to see how CCCFPA member Steve Pressley‘s current squad of Sky Blues acquit themselves against second in the table Peterborough United. Members of the Association had a memorable ‘away day’ at the Posh last season enjoying the hospitality of Barry Fry and his colleagues.  The game at the Ricoh is on Saturday, 25th October 2014 and fans will be looking to the Sky Blues for an improved performance after disappointment in recent games.

An Irish international with 40 caps, Lee played 47 League games for CCFC in from 2000-02 after spells with Derby County and Blackburn Rovers and put in another 25 appearances for the Sky Blues in 2010-11 after returning from a succesful stint with Everton.  In 2011 he became our first team coach (and briefly caretaker manager in 2012), last year (October 2013) had a short spell as assistant gaffer at Sheffield United and since then has done a variety of media work.

Look out for Lee around and about the stadium, on the pitch at half-time, contributing match analysis on the local radio (BBC CWR) and in the G-Casino after the game next Saturday. Welcome back Mr Carsley!