May 26, 2024

NEWS: Adi Viveash signs new contract with Coventry City! - News - Coventry  City

Why Coventry City’s next signing will be forever grateful to Adi Viveash after personal tragedy

Coventry City’s next signing is another Chelsea alumni to reconnect with Sky Blues coach who has been a father figure to so many over the years

The arrival of Coventry City’s next summer signing Brad Collins will see the goalkeeper reunited with three friendly faces who helped him through one of the toughest times of his life.

It’s surely no coincidence that the 26-year-old is yet another of Adi Viveash’s former Chelsea pupils to join the Sky Blues – his move from Barnsley understood to be all but done. Mark Robins’ trusty assistant and expert on the training pitch has had a hand in the recruitment of a string of players schooled under him at Stamford Bridge during his glittering 10 year spell as a development coach.

BRAD COLLINS POST-FOREST - News - Barnsley Football Club

Collins played with fellow summer signing Jay Dasilva as well as Kasey Palmer while coming up through the Blues’ youth ranks. Viveash made a big impression on them and is clearly a draw for players who didn’t quite bridge the gap to Chelsea’s hugely competitive first team, having had to drop down a division or two in order to work their way back up.

But the 53-year-old is far more than merely an outstanding coach who knows how to get the best out of the Cobham alumni. He’s a mentor and father figure who has always gone above and beyond his football role. Former pupils Fankaty Dabo and Jake Clarke-Salter, who enjoyed a successful loan spell with City in the 2021/22 campaign, have both spoken in the past about his influence during their formative years.

And that was also the case for Collins when tragedy struck in his family almost seven years ago when he was teenager.

His dad Mark used to drive him up the M3 from their home in Southampton to London, with Collins joining Chelsea’s Under-12s set-up in 2010 and signing a scholarship in 2013. A few years later, Collins’s father died and the help of Chelsea during that heart-rending time in his life is something he will never forget.

“My dad passed away during my time there and off the pitch, they were very good to me and my family and I thank them a lot for that,” he said, in an interview with the Yorkshire Post.

“It was a very strange feeling and I have never felt anything like that in my life before. Adi Viveash and Neil Bath (head of youth development) helped my family a lot and helped with the funeral and things like that.

Coventry City assistant manager Adi Viveash with the FA Youth Cup during his time with Chelsea

“From the age of 11 when I went there, my dad used to take me every day and dad grew a good bond with the coaches and they knew him very well.

“It is not just on the pitch there, but off the pitch as well. They have such a variety of coaching staff who help in every aspect of your game. It is really good coming through at a place like that.”

The keeper may have never played at first-team level alongside a number of contemporaries, but his time at SW6 is one that he still treasures.

He was part of the Under-18 side who beat Manchester City to win the FA Youth Cup in 2015, with the likes of Fikayo Tomori, Tammy Abraham, Izzy Brown, Dominic Solanke and Jay Dasilva in that Blues line-up.

Coventry City assistant manager Adi Viveash with the FA Youth Cup during his time with Chelsea
The year before, he was on the bench as the Londoners won the same competition, with that side also including Kasey Palmer, Andreas Christensen, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ola Aina.

Collins said: “I still know Ruben, Andreas, Tammy, Fikayo, Mason Mount and Reece James and other people who have left now, such as Kasey Palmer.

“A lot of the players were trying to help you and it is hard to name one. I still speak to quite a few of them and Mason quite a bit, to be fair and Reece James.”

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