Former captain encouraged by Academy success Former Coventry City captain Lee Carsley, who after retiring from playing football at the end of last season and now works with Academy manager Gregor Rioch as a coach, is delighted with the success the Academy players have enjoyed. Just over a year ago, in his second term with the club, Carsley was leading the Sky Blues as captain in what was to become his last season as a player, but ahead of Saturday's home game against one of his former clubs Derby County he has spoken to the club website about the exciting times ahead for the Academy players. During his year as club captain, he played alongside several Academy players as they were introduced into first team football and in his first year as an Academy coach, he has witnessed many more Academy players being thrust into the big time. Coventry City's Academy is one of the big successes and appears to be going from strength to strength with players like Gael Bigirimana, Conor Thomas and Cyrus Christie all featuring in Thorn's current first team set up. Andy Thorn can select 12 former Academy players to play in his sides and Ben Turner, if he had nor been sold to Cardiff, would have made it thirteen. While it is true, the promotion from Academy to first team has been forced upon Thorn by the massive financial straights that the club finds itself in at the moment that should not diminish the talent, skill and maturity that the young players have brought in Thorn's squad. Carsley has only been coaching with at the Academy for a few weeks and clearly the players that are now playing at the top level had developed long before he arrived, but that does not mean he is not encouraged by their success and he believes that these are exciting times for the Academy players with the opportunities that are being offered because of the financial restraints on the club. Carsley said, "These are exciting times for the young players at theclub. A lot of them were getting pushed forward to the first team before I got involved with the academy on the coaching side but it is good to see them making that progression." "The manager is not afraid to throw them in at the deep end and give them a go in the first team."