Looking ahead - Curtis Wynter
Stefan Curtis spoke to young Coventry City defender Curtis Wynter recently and submitted the following article to Vital Coventry.
When footballers hit the age of 17 it can often be make or break. Clubs tend to make decisions about the futures of their starlets at around this age and whilst this cut-throat aspect of the game is often frowned upon, the joy felt by those who make it is hard to compare. Coventry City defender Curtis Wynter is one of the lucky ones.
The young right back was rewarded with a professional contract after breaking into the first team and admits that he`s delighted that the club have decided to keep him on but feels for his team mates and friends who have been released.
"I am very grateful as it shows that I have been noticed in a positive way. However I have to remember that it is only my first deal and I must not get complacent. I have to keep striving for what I want, which is a long, successful career in the game.
"We have a good youth team here and every player has played well. I live with the team captain Adam Walker and he has also been offered a pro deal. He works very hard in training and has good qualities so I feel that he'll have a good future."
"The flip side is that some of my close friends have been let go over the past few weeks but they have sorted themselves out by organising trials at other clubs.
"That does not hide the fact that it must be a horrible thing to go through and I just hope that they all sort themselves out and that they are successful."
Greg Rioch, son of former Arsenal manager Bruce Rioch, is the Academy Manager at Coventry, and it`s clear that his influence has had a positive impact on Wynter.
"Greg is a brilliant coach. He works hard to get the best out of the lads on the training pitch and that has shown in the matches we have played as we have been producing good results.
"From a personal point of view he has kept my standards high by not allowing me to become complacent. He is a key factor in my progression this season."
With Stephen Wright currently occupying Wynter`s favoured right back slot, the former Liverpool and Sunderland player is the perfect role model for the budding Championship player.
"Stephen is a great player to go to for guidance, he obviously plays in the same position as me so that helps, but he has been there and done it at the top level so he knows what he`s talking about.
"Aron Gunnarsson is another one who is great inspiration to the young lads. He puts everything into every game and his quality shines through as a result. I get along with him pretty well so I`m not afraid to have a bit of banter with him!"
As the Championship season draws to a close it can often be a time for managers to experiment with the younger players, something Wynter is ready for should he get the nod.
"It would be great to be involved in the first team again, if I could get a couple more games under my belt before the season finishes that would stand me in good stead for next season."