Thorn Urges Youngsters To Sign Deals

Coventry City manager Andy Thorn has expressed his frustration over the length of time some of the City youngsters are taking to sign their recently offered contracts.

Thorn blames agent interference for putting doubts into the minds of four of the five former Academy players and complicating relatively straightforward processes.

Five of Coventry City's younger players have been offered new deals after their existing contracts expired at the end of the season, but only one, right back Jordan Clarke has said he will sign.

The other four who have been offered new deals, goal keeper Danny Ireland, defender Nathan Cameron, and strikers Callum Wilson and Shaun Jeffers are all stalling while their agents see if they can tout their wards elsewhere.

Andy Thorn is both frustrated and disappointed at the delaying tactics as he wants to get on with the rebuilding of his side in readiness for next season. He cannot begin any rebuilding until he knows who he will have in his squad.

Thorn explained to the CT: "Clarkey is happy with his offer and has told me he is going to re-sign. Everything is agreed and he's looking forward to next season."

The 19 year old Nathan Cameron,who played 26 times for City last season and 22 year old Danny Ireland have been offered three year deals, while Shaun Jeffers and Callum Wilson, who have yet to prove they are up to Championship standard, have been offered one year deals with Coventry City.

Thorn expressed his opinion, saying: "Callum and Shaun have been given a lifeline if you like, to have a go next season but they are yet to sign. I expect them to sign and would be disappointed if don't, as I would Nathan because they are young boys who shouldn't be guided by agents, certainly not when they are learning their trade.

"There are a lot of young boys out there who would love the opportunity. If someone offered me a professional contract or an extension to prove myself I'd be in the next morning, saying where do you want me to sign?

"They are working with an ex-England and Premiership coach as their first team coach in Steve Harrison teaching them the right way, and with the experience we have got between us, it's a case of go on then son, go and show us what you can do, there's your chance to go and play football.

"There's an opportunity to develop at a football club that is going places, so they need to wise up a little bit and concentrate on their football rather than worrying about anything else."

He continued: "When I was 18 and was offered a year's contract I went in that afternoon and sat there until it was signed. I didn't go away and talk to an agent. We didn't have agents then. I am surprised that a teenager wants to turn to an agent to decide whether or not to sign a contract.

"They are not proven players, they are potential that we need to nurture and develop for the football club. They are not your finished articles, if you like. They will be eventually but not at the moment.

"If you want to learn the game properly under a good coach at a good club, great, because when you are that age your only focus should be developing and playing football. If you have to listen to an agent at that age then I will start having second thoughts about people like that."