MANAGER Terry Anderson believes new captain Michael Quirke can add the leadership required in the dressing room, after the former Sky Blues player became Coventry United’s eighth summer signing.
Quirke, who now plays primarily as a centre back after starting out as a goalkeeper, has joined United from Coventry Sphinx, where he made 72 appearances in two seasons.
The new Red and Greens skipper appeared several times between the sticks for Coventry City towards the tailend of the 2010/11 season, earning him a call-up to the Republic of Ireland under-21 squad, but has excelled outfield ever since his departure from the Ricoh Arena.
Anderson says that the acquisition of Quirke has immediately bolstered United’s backline for the forthcoming season, and was an obvious choice to take the captaincy upon his arrival.
“Quirkey was one of our main targets over the summer, so we are delighted to have got our man,” he said.
“Strengthening defensively was vital for us, so getting him in will be a huge boost to the team.
“He’s a natural winner with invaluable experience, and a leader on the pitch, hence why we have given him the armband.
“He is as vocal as they come and he organizes a team from back to front, something that we have missing for a while.”
Despite capturing his main summer target, Anderson has revealed that Quirke’s first outing in a red and green shirt will be put on hold until at least September, as the defender continues his recovery from a foot injury.
Meanwhile, the Coventry United manager has confirmed that Dominik Alleyne will continue in his role as vice-captain at the club.
Quirke’s arrival follows the signing of forward Matthew Gardner, who joins after impressing during a trial.
Gardner, like Quirke, also turned out for Coventry Sphinx, with both being able to lay claim to having found the net against their new side in the Coventry derby in recent years.
The striker made an impact during Coventry’s pre-season campaign, and will be available for the season opener at Haughmond this Saturday (3pm).
Incidentally, the forward will have the opportunity to get on the scoresheet against his old teammates at Sphinx in the FA Cup extra preliminary qualifying round, when the two sides do battle at Sphinx Drive on Saturday August 10.
Elsewhere, Coventry United Ladies have been drawn in Group A of the Continental Tyres Cup, and will do battle against Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Durham, Liverpool and Sheffield United.
The ladies are currently in the thick of pre-season, and continue their preparations for their debut season in the FA Women’s Championship when visiting Derby County tonight (Thursday, 7.30pm) at Derby University.