FOOTBALL: SKY BLUES: Giddings Is Living the Teen Dream; GAME ON: COVENTRY CITY V CREWE ALEXANDRA, HIGHFIELD ROAD, KICK-OFF 3pm: Full-Back a Shining Example of City's Youth Training System

Coventry Evening Telegraph (England), November 27, 2004 | Go to article overview
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FOOTBALL: SKY BLUES: Giddings Is Living the Teen Dream; GAME ON: COVENTRY CITY V CREWE ALEXANDRA, HIGHFIELD ROAD, KICK-OFF 3pm: Full-Back a Shining Example of City's Youth Training System


Byline: By ANDY TURNER

STUART GIDDINGS is a shining example of the Sky Blues youth system.

Having been plucked from parks playing fields at the tender age of 10, the Coventry-born full-back is currently holding down a place in the first team.

And if the early indications are anything to go by, he could go on to firmly establish himself as a regular.

But the teenager knows he has got plenty of work ahead of him to keep the likes of Steve Staunton on the sidelines, and is taking nothing for granted as he strives to keep the shirt.

"I first joined Coventry' s school of excellence when I was 10 and have moved up through the ranks in the academy, and it is brilliant to be finally playing in the first team," said the former Foxford schoolboy.

"I progressed through the youth team and into the reserves where I have been involved for the last two seasons and obviously played most of them at the start of this season.

"The natural progression is to train with the first team, which I started towards the end of last season and that definitely helps to improve you as a player, especially being there day in, day out."

Giddings first showed signs of breaking through in Peter Reid' s first game in charge when he named the youngster on the bench, although his senior debut it didn' t go strictly to plan.

"I came on for a couple of minutes against Crystal Palace, although I don' t think I had any touches of the ball," he recalled, "but it was a good experience to be involved in front of a decent crowd.

"I was quite nervous in the warm up but then I relaxed a bit more and just wanted to get on with it.

"It was only a small taste of the first team but it made me hungry to want to experience that every week. So I went away for the summer and came back determined to do well in the pre-season and get as fit as I could to give myself the best possible chance of playing."

And that chance came against Sheffield Wednesday in the Carling Cup where he showed enough for the manager to give him another go against Premiership Middlesbrough in the next round.

But despite a disappointing team display and defeat, Giddings managed to keep his place and make his full league debut at Highfield Road against Reading, and has been in the side ever since.

"I am really enjoying it and just want to carry on working hard and doing the best I can to stay in the team," said the England under-19 player who likes the attacking side of his position as well as defending.

"I enjoy getting forward and getting crosses in to create as many chances as I can for the forwards but I also like one on one defending and testing myself against quick players.

"I like to think I am fairly quick and it is good to play against other players who I have seen performing on TV.

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FOOTBALL: SKY BLUES: Giddings Is Living the Teen Dream; GAME ON: COVENTRY CITY V CREWE ALEXANDRA, HIGHFIELD ROAD, KICK-OFF 3pm: Full-Back a Shining Example of City's Youth Training System
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