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23 January 2020

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Imps midfielder Conor Coventry is relishing his first taste of men’s football after joining City on loan until the end of the season from West Ham.

The 19-year-old has made two appearances for the Imps since arriving on loan earlier this month.

Coventry explained how he wanted to go out on loan in the summer, however, remained at London Stadium with then-manager Manuel Pellegrini.

“I was looking to go out in the summer but the former manager (Manuel) Pellegrini wanted me to stay,” said the Ireland U21 international.

“I trained with the first team a lot, but he said that January would be a better time for me to go.

“David (Moyes) has come in and he was only there a few days before I went out to Lincoln, I trained with them a few times under him but I know he has had a few of the young lads on the bench so I’m hoping that I will get a chance if I impress.”

Conor went on to speak about how he was aware of Lincoln’s interest prior to the New Year, and that he feels it is the best place for him to develop.

“I knew about the club’s interest in December, West Ham and my agency kept me updated,” said the midfielder.

“It was good because it wasn’t just one call. The club gave me a call, then another one a few days later and then again to find out what was going on, they were very persistent which made me feel wanted, that probably played a part why I wanted to come here so much.

“I have played a lot of Under 23 games, I needed a new challenge and I wanted to go and play men’s football because opportunities were limited for me at West Ham. I wanted to go out on loan, improve as a player and come back a much better player.”

Coventry is enjoying life under Imps boss Michael Appleton, praising the manager for how he presented the club before the deal was done.

“From speaking to the gaffer, Lincoln was the best place for me to come because of the style of play they are trying to get into the side,” explained Conor.

“I want to play, and Lincoln are giving me the opportunity to do that.

“I met the gaffer and he showed me a lot of clips, he showed me how we play and someone in my family is friends with Kers (David Kerslake) so it was good to know that he would look after me. I’d met him once before at a wedding, but he has been great for me since I have come up, he has helped a lot.”

Currently an Ireland U21 international, Coventry has teamed up with Green Army teammate Zack Elbouzedi who arrived at LNER Stadium earlier in the window.

“I know Zack from playing for Ireland, I was buzzing to see a familiar face when I came in and I have spent a lot of time with him since I’ve been at the club. It’s great to have him here to help me settle in,” said Conor.

“My Mum’s side are Irish, my Dad is from East London, so it all comes from my Mum’s side, I have been playing for them since I was 15.

“We are top of our group now in a tough group with teams like Italy and Sweden. We have Iceland and Luxemburg coming up so if we get the wins against them, we will get a play-off place before facing Italy in the last game.”

Coventry continued by explaining how joining the side alongside Tayo Edun and Tyreece John-Jules helped him settle in quicker: “I have been at West Ham since I was 10 so it was something, I was nervous about, meeting a new group of lads.

“I have settled in well, Tayo (Edun) and Tyreece (John-Jules) are both from London and signed on the same day so it was easy to get along with everyone, all the lads have been great.”

The Ireland U21 finished by speaking highly about the people of Lincoln and how he has felt welcomed since arriving in the City.

“Everyone I have met; the fans and staff are all really friendly which has helped me settle down a lot.” explained Conor.

“It is a nice City and I have felt really welcomed from the minute I walked through the door.

“The fans here have blown me away, I got told by the manager when we met that the fans are a massive part of the football club. I have seen videos of them and on tv but seeing and playing in front of them in real life has been unreal.

“The stadium is always full, and the 617 Squadron don’t take a rest. That is something I have never seen before and you grow up wanting to play in front of atmospheres like that. They are really lively and back the lads throughout the game.

"My family come up when they can, and they were shocked by the support Lincoln gets.”

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