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Rioch steps down from Coventry role

26 November 2013

Coventry City academy manager Gregor Rioch is leaving the club after six and a half years with the Sky Blues.

The 38-year-old, who counts Peterborough United, Hull City and Macclesfield Town amongst his former clubs, says that he wants a new challenge.

Speaking to the club's website he said: "I have loved every minute of my time with Coventry City Football Club but I just feel the time is right to move on and find a new challenge.

"I would like to think I am leaving the club's Academy in very strong shape and believe we've made fantastic progress over the past few years.

"It's been a real team effort and I would like to thank every single one of the coaches, the players and the parents who I have worked with.

"Ultimately, a club's Academy is only as good as the number of first-team players it goes onto produce and we have made dramatic progress on that front in recent seasons.

"During the past six-and-a-half years, we've seen 21 Academy players make their first team debuts and had more than 450 first-team appearances in that time as well.

"This season is proving just how important a strong Academy is to the football club with so many players in the first-team squad who are making a real impact in league football.

"That bodes well for the club when it comes to recruitment because parents and players can see that there is a path into the first team from the Academy and that is, ultimately, where every player wants to be.

"Of course there are mixed feelings when you have been at a football club for so long and you decide to call it a day but I feel like I need a new challenge now but still wish Coventry City every success in the future."

Sky Blues development director Steve Waggott conceded that the club had made every effort to persuade Rioch to stay but had now promoted his assistant Richard Stevens to replace him.

"When Gregor approached me to say he felt he needed a new challenge I made it obvious that I wanted to keep him here," said Waggott. "But this is a personal decision for Gregor and once he had made up his mind, we have had to plan accordingly.

"The Academy is of vital importance to Coventry City and the way we are structuring the football department. That work will continue, especially as we implement our Elite Player Performance Plan."

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