TEENAGER James Maddison celebrated his 18th birthday with the perfect present after signing his first professional deal with the Sky Blues.
The Coventry-born midfielder has penned a three-and-a-half year deal with the League One club which keeps him at the Ricoh Arena until June 2018.
Maddison has already made nine appearances for the first-team having progressed through the club’s academy in recent months and scored his first professional goal in the 4-1 defeat against Oldham Athletic last month.
He has been a regular for the Under-21 side this season and has also helped the Under-18s achieve a terrific start to the season with nine goals in seven games for the Academy side.
“All the way through from the Academy up to this stage and all that work was to get the contract.” said Maddison. “It is the best feeling in the world.
“I want to give the gaffer and the club something back as they’ve given me this contract.
“You want to go to the top it’s everyone’s dream – of course I want to get there but I want to get there with Coventry City. They’ve put a lot of work into me and I owe something back, hopefully I can get a run in the team soon and help the team as best as I can.
Maddison’s success could be put down to his ability to manage playing football alongside his education.
He added: “It is hard playing every day and combining your education work, you have develop tactically, technically and in education so it is difficult, but once you manage everything it becomes easier.
“I wasn’t expecting the news to be fair, my aim for this year was to get in and around the first-team and catch the manager’s eye so I’ve succeeded my target and hope for a run in the first-team now to repay everyone and show people what I can do.”
City boss Steven Pressley said he’s delighted to secure the services of Maddison who he highlights as someone with ‘an extremely bright future.’
He said: “I’ve been extremely impressed with James’ attitude and ability which is why we were so keen to secure a long-term deal for him.
“I’ve already shown my trust in him by playing him against Cardiff and Wycombe in the Cup games and he has embraced that opportunity on both occasions.
“Over recent weeks, I’ve challenged James to get fitter and stronger by spending more time in the gym. He has spent a lot of time with our Sports Scientist Pete Tierney and we’re already seeing results from that.
“His willingness to learn and do extra to improve was a crucial reason in offering him his first professional deal. We’re excited by this signing and we believe James can have an extremely bright future at this club.”
James Maddison signs his first professional contract. (s)