Coventry United ready to return after being saved from liquidation

The Coventry United squad huddles before the second half during the FA Women's Continental Tyres League Cup match between Charlton Athletic and Coventry United at Oakwood VCD on November 17, 2021 in Crayford, England. (Photo by Jacques Feeney/Getty Images)

On January 4th, it was announced with great fanfare that Coventry United had been successfully saved from liquidation.

Lewis Taylor, the chief executive of Midlands-based energy company Energy Angels, has agreed terms to take over the club.

As it stands, the FA Women’s Championship has issued the club a 10-point deduction, but the Red and Greens are challenging this decision. Therefore, Coventry are currently on minus four points, ten points behind eleventh placed Watford.

Are the players daunted by the ‘mission impossible’ task ahead? Absolutely not — they love playing for Coventry United and they are very excited by the challenge ahead.

New owners welcomed by players and staff

Head Coach Jay Bradford shed some light on how the last few days have looked for Coventry.

“Manic! Exciting! To get everything back up and running, the staff deserve a huge credit,” she told Her Football Hub.

In terms of how things have been overall, she went on to say: “There was a little bit of hesitation. Players have been hurt. There’s going to be a trust issue but Lewis [Taylor] understands that and he’s got a really nice manner.”

Bradford stressed to the players they need to give him an opportunity and allow him to prove himself.

“He’s already put in place maybe things we were missing before. I think he will be very good for this football club.

“We’re in a really good place considering where we’ve come from. Our motivation now has got to come from the fact that this nearly ended for everybody.”

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Charlie Estcourt delighted to be back

Midfielder Charlie Estcourt said: “With everything that’s happened over Christmas, all the girls are massively relieved and super grateful to be back in. It’s going to help us be even tighter as a group and help us push on.

“We all had the feeling before that the second half of the season could be when we really push on. We could feel it building and everything we were doing doing before Christmas, we were in a really good place.

“Everyone’s so excited because we knew what we were building before. To get to carry that on has given everyone a real push.”

First challenge away to Sheffield United

Last time the Red and Greens played Sheffield United was back in September when the Blades comfortably won 3-0. However, more recently, Sheffield have really struggled, having picked up just two points in their last six league matches.

“If we can take our game to them, and give them problems, then we’ll get something out of the game,” Bradford said.

“They’ve got a lot of talented individuals and they’re very well organised. If we don’t put on our best performance, they will hurt us.”

Estcourt is also confident that herself and her teammates can get the three points from the upcoming clash.

“They [Sheffield United] have been on a difficult run for themselves which they haven’t really experienced in other seasons. So, its definitely a good time to play them.”

When asked about the Sheffield team, Estcourt replied: “We all know their front three are a threat. Lucy Watson, Courtney Sweetman-Kirk, and Jess Clarke are all a threat so we’ll have to be on it to keep a clean sheet.”

Even though it has been a whirlwind, the players are prepared and she maintains the belief they will hit the ground running.

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The future for Coventry United

Like any head coach, Bradford is hopeful of signing one or two new players before the transfer window closes. They have already lost winger, and top scorer Rio Hardy to Durham, so she will be a tough one to replace.

Looking ahead, the team have their first home match of 2022 next weekend against London City Lionesses.

“I really hope that all the people that reached out on social media now come to stadium and watch the team they effectively saved,” Bradford said.

“We owe the fans a lot. They’re not just our fans, they’re football fans, and they’ve been outstanding. I really hope they come to the Butts Arena and we can put on a show for them.”

Coventry United are away to Sheffield United on Sunday 16th January. This is followed by London City at home on Sunday 23rd January.

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