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Coventry City’s academy has become the club’s factory of hope
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agent sbobet Amid the many challenges at Coventry City, the club’s academy has been a shining light. Adam Bate went to visit academy manager Richard Stevens to find out how the club has managed to produce so many first-team players against a backdrop of uncertainty.

Having secured their first top-six finish in 48 years, Coventry City take on Notts County on Friday for a place in the League Two play-off final at Wembley. The statistic is a reminder that the years have not been kind to the Sky Blues. Since losing their Premier League status in 2001, ending a 34-year stay in the top flight, it has been some slide.

As well as dropping three divisions, there have been off-field problems aplenty, council disputes and fury at the club's owners. Even a Checkatrade Trophy win at Wembley last year saw protests. But one aspect of Coventry life unites supporters and staff alike and that is the club's academy - what the Sky Blue Trust has referred to as the factory of hope. agent sbobet

In the first leg of their play-off semi-final against Notts County, five of the 13 players who featured for Coventry were graduates. That is nothing unusual for this club. There were six on the pitch for the recent 6-1 win over Cheltenham and as many as eight former academy players were in the squad for the FA Cup fifth-round tie against Brighton in February.

One report puts Coventry among the top 10 academies in the country for bringing through players over the past decade. There have been 44 debutants, with Callum Wilson making it all the way to the Premier League and James Maddison set to join him there before long. It is a remarkable record given the constraints under which the club has had to operate. agent sbobet

Wayne Rooney in advanced talks with MLS side DC United

Wayne Rooney in advanced talks with MLS side DC United
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maxbet Wayne Rooney is in advanced talks with MLS side DC United, and a move could be completed as early as Monday, Sky Sports News understands. It is understood that more than a month of negotiations between Rooney's agent Paul Stretford, DC United and Everton could be concluded, paving the way for the 32-year old to end his 16-year stint in the Premier League and sign a two-year, £3.8m-a-year deal.

Sky Sports News also understands an agreement will allow for Rooney to return to Goodison Park at a later date to take up a coaching role. Negotiations have centred on the year left on Rooney's contract. It's thought no transfer fee will be paid by DC United, but they will pay a significant proportion of the last 12 months of his £180k-a-week deal. maxbet 

The agreement will allow Rooney to apply for a US visa before joining his new DC team-mates for training ahead of a likely debut at home to the Vancouver Whitecaps on July 15.

Last week, Rooney flew into Washington from a family holiday in Barbados to undergo a medical and hold talks with DC's managing general partner Jason Levien and general manager Dave Kasper. maxbet 

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