FOOTBALL - Coventry City academy graduates sign first professional contracts with club - The Coventry Observer

FOOTBALL - Coventry City academy graduates sign first professional contracts with club

SOME seven academy players have signed their first professional contracts with Coventry City ahead of the 2024/25 campaign.

All seven academy graduates will link up with the club’s under-21s team next season.

Tristen Batanwi, Elliot Betjemann, Aidan Dausch, Charlie Finney, Callum Perry, Daniel Rachel and Jayden Smith have all put pen-to-paper, becoming the latest crop of players to graduate through the Sky Blues academy system.

Coventry-born Batanwi joined the Sky Blues in March 2016 at the age of 10 and enjoyed a breakthrough campaign with the under-21s in 2022/23.

The left back suffered an ACL injury in pre-season of the previous campaign which ruled him out for the entirety of the 2023/24 season.

Betjemann joined City in March 2022 after spending eight years with West Bromwich Albion.

The central midfielder formed part of City’s pre-season tour squad in 2023 and featured in a friendly win against Forest Green Rovers.

He captained the under-21s on a number of occasions last season.

Dausch made the move to the Sky Blues at the age of 15 following his departure from Luton Town.

The striker made his professional debut for Coventry from the bench against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park and also appeared as a substitute against Ipswich Town at the CBS Arena.

Dausch found the net regularly for City’s under-18 and under-21 sides last term.

Midfielder Finney joined the club in September 2020 at the age of 14 after spending just over a year with Chesterfield.

Finney represented the Sky Blues across the under-18s and under-21s league campaigns, as well as the FA Youth Cup and Birmingham Senior Cup throughout the 2023/24 season.

Perry linked up with City in 2019 following a spell with Birmingham City and spent time on loan at AFC Rushden and Diamonds last season where he made four appearances.

The defender played at centre back and left back across the 2023/24 Professional Development League.

Goalkeeper Rachel will battle it out with Luke Bell for a starting berth in the under-21s squad next season.

Rachel joined the Sky Blues in January 2020 at the age of 13 and has been a regular in the club’s under-18s side while also featuring for the under-21s on occasion.

Coventry-born defender Smith joined the Sky Blues at the age of 10 and featured regularly at right back throughout the 2023/24 campaign.

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