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One of the catalysts for Coventry City's tremendous start to the season in the Midland Combination is the return of dynamic winger Jade Formaston.
Coventry born and bred, Jade began her footballing career with the Sky Blues' Under-10s and stayed for nine seasons before joining Premier League outfit Aston Villa in the summer. "The Villa players made me feel really welcome," recalled Jade, "but I just never really felt myself whilst I was there and it showed in my performance. My confidence was low and deep down I knew that Coventry was the only club for me."
Manager Paul Cudby is full of praise for his winger. "Jade's a terrific character and brings a great deal to the team as a natural winger," he said. "She scores plenty of goals, sets up a fair few too and always gives her opposition headaches." Last season, she contributed 11 goals and 13 assists as the Sky Blues were pipped to promotion by Derby County. "This has to be Coventry's year," states Jade, exasperated by three straight runners-up spots in successive years.
After recently finishing a two year course in Sports Performance at Henley College, Jade now works for the Sky Blues as a community coach alongside David Busst. Whilst studying at Henley, she received an invitation to represent England Colleges in European qualifiers against Slovakia, Georgia and the Czech Republic as well as friendlies against Norway and Wales.
The Coventry City devotee has also previously received a call up from England's Under-17s and is keen to get back to playing at a higher level. "I went to Villa for a new challenge and hope to make the step back up to the Premier League, but with Coventry City this time instead," she admitted.
"The girls were great and were really supportive when I came back, to be honest it's like I never left. Personally I feel good at the moment, my form has been good and I've scored a few goals of late. The team gelled together very well and we're looking really strong."
With four goals in her last three games, and eight for the season so far, Jade looks back to her best and with eight of the Sky Blues final ten league games away from home, they're going to need her on top form. Next up for Jade and her City team mates is a mouth-watering F.A.Women's Cup Third Round clash this Sunday versus last season's nemesis Derby County, who reached the last sixteen in the competition last time around.
"Its a massive game for us, everyone wants to get as far as they can in the FA Cup and get a chance to play the big teams," says Jade. "Derby will be a hard test for us, they've just gained promotion and are doing well in the league above but I believe we have the squad to give them a good game.
"We're in great form and fancy our chances, the way we've been playing so far this season. We're really looking forward to the game but as we've said from day one, our main goal this season is promotion."
The match kicks off at 1pm on Sunday at Coventry University's Westwood Heath Sports Grounds.
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