City ace Maddison has been trying to catch the eye of Aidy Boothroyd since his Coventry days
- Credit: PA
James Maddison is used to trying to catch the attention of Aidy Boothroyd – but now it is with the England Under-21s instead of Coventry City.
The 20-year-old was one of the shining lights in the Coventry academy when Boothroyd was first team manager of the Sky Blues during 2010-11.
After his breakthrough as a Championship player with Norwich City the playmaker has been trying to impress Boothroyd again in the hope of winning his first U21 cap in today’s qualifier in Ukraine.
“There’s a funny story really and I mentioned it to Aidy earlier,” Maddison explained. “I was a young boy at Coventry when he was the manager there, I was maybe in the U14s at the time. I remember once, we were at the training complex for the academy and he came to watch our session.
“That was very rare at the time, for the first team manager to come and watch an academy session. I just remember seeing him there and it was such a big thing for everybody so we were all working that bit harder. I’m not sure if Aidy remembers it, but I won’t forget it.
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“I was a boyhood Coventry fan, Sky Blue through and through, it’s my hometown club. It was a dream to play for them and I have such fond memories of my time there. It’s something I take great pride in and I think it’s been a major part of my development.
“When you’re young, you just want to play games and being at Coventry in League One at the time, it was a blessing in disguise really.
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“There was a trust in young players from the managers I had there and I got thrown in at a young age – I was 16 when I was first on the bench and then played for the first time when I was 17.”
Maddison made 42 appearances for his hometown club, returning on loan for a spell after joining City in a deal reportedly worth up to £3.5million in January 2016.
“Although, I made my ‘home’ debut at Northampton Town as we were sharing grounds at the time, so that was strange for me but it was just a pleasure to put on the shirt and get out there,” he added, in a blog for TheFA.com. “That was the exposure that I needed and I think it had a big positive influence on why I’m having success now.”