For a number of years, Coventry City have used their apprentice grounds-person scheme to develop staff for the Club’s grounds team at Ryton Training Ground.
As well as benefitting the Sky Blues with new and enthusiastic staff, the scheme helps to develop those individuals and their skills as they embark on their career in the grounds industry.
There is a new opportunity to join Coventry City’s grounds team as an apprentice, with a closing date of 12th June for applications to begin a career in the grounds industry. For details, click here.
The latest success story from the scheme is Cole Edwards. 21-year-old Cole has been with the Sky Blues for approaching three years, when he first started his apprenticeship. However, supporting Coventry City is a big part of his life.
“My Mother and brother have been Season Ticket holders for many years,” explained Cole. “Coventry and football is family basically. It’s an honour to work for the Club. Obviously, it has its ups and downs, but everywhere you work does.”
“It’s a nice feeling working for my Club – it feels like you’re giving back. Watching them growing up, going to games and on TV, you support them and now I’m a part of the players putting on the performances and helping them to a degree.”
Working for the Club that he loves and in football has long been ambition for Cole, but not necessarily the grounds side of the industry.
“It’s not a job that I actually ever saw myself doing,” said Cole. “I always wanted to be involved in football, or sport. Football was always a career path – whether that was taking part, coaching or any other way in.”
“I was looking for a job aged 17, nearly 18, and my Mum’s friend said there was a job advert for a groundsman at Coventry City. I applied and about a week later had an interview, and a week later got the job. It all happened quite quickly – I was actually on holiday when I found out!”
“First day back from my holiday, I came here and met the Head Groundsman and the other staff and got started working.”
Cole has been part of the team at Coventry City for two and a half years now and has enjoyed his time at the Club, where he has been largely based at the Club’s Academy at the Alan Higgs Centre and heavily involved in the Grounds team’s work as part of his learning.
Cole said: “It has flown by. It hasn’t felt like an apprenticeship because I do such hands on learning, alongside the academic work too, it’s fell in place perfectly for me.
“It’s enjoyable, it feels like a hobby as well as a job. There’s a lot of parts you can enjoy, there’s part that tire you out too, but it’s really enjoyable.”
Being based at the Academy, Cole has developed as a person too alongside his grounds work, learning from others in the department and at the Alan Higgs Centre.
“There’s a good positive feeling amongst the grounds team,” said Cole. “With the Academy staff too at the Alan Higgs Centre, they’re all smiles and always polite – there’s a great camaraderie between us all, we’re able to have a laugh and a joke. I feel like I’ve been here for five or six years not three, it feels like I’ve been here a lot longer.”
“When I first started, I wasn’t one for talking, I was quite shy. Now I can talk to pretty much everyone and in that respect my confidence has grown. I’m praying all goes well with my apprenticeship and my course, I’d love to stay here as long as possible – it’s a great job to have.”