WINGER Jodi Jones is targeting playing 30 games next season for the Sky Blues after signing for the club on an undisclosed fee from Dagenham and Redbridge.
The 18-year-old had put pen-to-paper on a four-year deal which will keep him at the Ricoh Arena until 2020 following a hugely successful loan spell.
Jones joined the Sky Blues initially on loan and after impressing for the under-21s, he was moved up to the first team and went on to make six appearances for Tony Mowbray’s side, which included an assist in the final home game against Sheffield United.
“I’m buzzing to get it done finally, it was a long process,” said Jones, who turned down interest from a host of Premier League and Championship clubs, including Swansea City.
“I can’t wait for next season to start. I want to be playing games and scoring goals as a personal achievement, but for the team I’d like us to get promoted and be competing in the Championship.
“I didn’t really expect to be playing first team football, but I did well in my first under-21s game and I was straight in (against Peterborough). League Two is much more of a physical league, you get smashed a lot. But League One you get a lot more time on the ball, you can play a lot more football.
“I really like working with the manager. He has faith in me and obviously he trusts me so that is a big confidence boost.”
City boss Mowbray said he was delighted to have landed Jones on a permanent basis and said it was a ‘huge’ deal for the club.
“Jodi is a player we’ve tracked for some time during his time at Dagenham and Redbridge and we’ve been really impressed with him since he joined us on loan,” said Mowbray.
“He has a fantastic attitude where he applies himself every day at Ryton to improve and work on his game. We originally brought him in on loan to get a feel for the place ahead of this deal but he forced his way into the side with his impressive performances and the natural ability he has.
“We’re looking to build a competitive squad for next season and the future so to secure Jodi’s services for the next four years is great news for the football club.”
Technical Director Mark Venus added: “We’ve been able to beat a number of other clubs to his signature and this is the most valuable transfer for the club for a number of years.
“We need deals like this to help progress the club to the next level and when we believe a player has the potential to push this football club forward, we will invest to make sure we achieve our aims.
“We’ll be working tirelessly over the summer as we look to build a squad for next season which can continue the progress we’ve made during our time at the club.”