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Coventry City kick off their preparation for the 2022/23 season this weekend at local National League North outfit Leamington in front of what is expected to be a sell out crowd at Your Co-op Community Stadium.
Mark Robins guided his Sky Blues to a twelfth placed finish in the Championship last season, unable to break into the play-off positions as it looked like they may have done back at the start of the campaign.
On the other hand, Saturday’s hosts had a season hit by injury last time out and finished a respectable fifteenth in the National League North whilst also winning the Birmingham Senior Challenge Cup at Villa Park. Heading into 2022/23, the Brakes will hold their position of highest ranked side in Warwickshire for another campaign
Leamington have had some changes in their squad over the summer. Callum Gittings called time on his Brakes career on a high by scoring a screamer against his former side Kidderminster Harriers and playing on his boyhood team’s pitch at Villa Park; he is to join the team Leamington beat in that final – Stourbridge. Joe Parker has also left Your Co-op Community Stadium, with the winger’s job taking him further south.
There are a few new faces in the camp as well. Ben Usher-Shipway was the first to join after he left Solihull Moors at the end of 2021/22. Alex Prosser spent 8 games on loan from Brackley Town at Harbury Lane last season and Paul Holleran acted quickly to bring Prosser permanently.
The third new signing is centre back Theo Streete who signed from AFC Telford United. The Brakes will also have former Kidderminster Harriers youth man and Worcester City‘s top scorer last campaign Bailey Fuller on trial for pre-season.
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There hasn’t been that much movement in the away team camp – but more rustlings of transfer rumours created by supporters. One definite is the arrival of Jamaican international Kasey Palmer who joined from Bristol City.
Sky Blues fans will hope to see the trio of Viktor Gyökeres, Callum O’Hare and Gustavo Hamer on Saturday, all of whom have been rumoured to be getting interest from the Premier League and fellow Championship clubs.
The only outgoings from Ryton so far have been Declan Drysdale who joined Newport County for an undisclosed fee, and Julien Dacosta who will spend time on loan at Shrewsbury Town.