Three Wembley finalists, a £2m sale and a club favourite among nine ex-Coventry City stars released

Nine former Coventry City players are this summer out of work after being released by their latest clubs. One of those has hung up his boots and retired but the others are presumably hoping to find new contracts elsewhere after their careers have come to another crossroads.

The list includes three Sky Blues Academy graduates, all of whom broke through to the first team before moving on, with one notable homegrown talent making £2million profit for the club, while three were involved in Wembley finals under Mark Robins – one in the Checkatrade Trophy final, one in the League Two play-off final and another in the Championship play-off final.

The others include firm fans’ favourites from before and during Robins’ reign. Here we take a look at the former City players who are available on free transfers so far.

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Jim O’Brien - Notts County

The all action, high energy midfielder signed for the Sky Blues in 2014, going on to make 70 league appearances and score eight goals before being released by Tony Mowbray and moving on, initially on loan to Scunthorpe before a permanent deal at Shrewsbury Town for a season. He then had spells at Ross County and Bradford City before moving to Notts County in 2019. Some 157 league games and 16 goals later and the now 36-year-old is a free agent.

Todd Kane - Stockport County

The right-back/wing-back has two seasons with the Sky Blues between 2021 and 2023 before being released by Mark Robins and moving to Gibraltar for a spell with Manchester 62. But he moved back to the UK and joined League Two Stockport for the last 11 games of the season, albeit only featuring in three.

Bournemouth's Adam Smith (left) and Coventry City's Todd Kane battle for the ball during the Sky Bet Championship match at the Coventry Building Society Arena.
Jim O'Brien celebrates with Chris Stokes after scoring for Coventry City against Colchester at the then named Ricoh Arena

Max Biamou - Doncaster Rovers

The former Sky Blues favourite finally got himself a club at the end of February this year after being plagued by injuries following a difficult spell at Dundee United after his release from Coventry in May 2021, having played for Mark Robins since 2017. After a short trial spell at Doncaster Rovers, the French striker was handed a short-term deal until the end of the season and scored two goals in seven appearances.

Matty James - Bristol City

The experienced midfielder had a successful half season loan with the Sky Blues from Leicester City between January to May 2021 before being released by the Foxes. Although Mark Robins tried to sign him on a permanent deal he opted instead to hook up with his former Leicester boss Nigel Pearson at Bristol City. Now, three seasons on and after 115 appearances for the Robins, the 32-year-old is looking for another club.

Liam Walsh - Swansea

One player who is still talked about with plenty of enthusiasm whenever he becomes available is dynamic midfielder Liam Walsh. The 26-year-old enjoyed an eye-catching season-long loan in 2019/20, making 35 appearances and scoring five goals. However, since then he’s been dogged by injuries and after three seasons at fellow Championship side Swansea City, where he managed only ten starts and 22 showings from the bench in the league, the former Everton trainee is a free agent.

Fankaty Dabo - Forest Green Rovers

Another former City fans’ favourite, Dabo was released by the Sky Blues after last year’s failed Championship play-off final at Wembley. A free agent last summer, he eventually signed for League Two Forest Green in September, going on to make 34 appearances for the club that suffered relegation before being let go. Still only 28, the former Chelsea prospect will feel he has plenty to offer.

Mark Robins consoles Fankaty Dabowill
Todd Kane in action for Coventry City against Bournemouth -Credit:Tim Goode/PA

Richard Keogh - Forest Green

The former Sky Blues skipper played just shy of 100 games for Coventry before moving to Derby County in July 2012, for whom he played over 350 games. He then had spells at MK Dons, Huddersfield, Blackpool, Ipswich and Wycombe before signing for FGR in February. At 37, the defender has officially hung up his boots.

Tom Bayliss - Shrewsbury Town

The Sky Blues Academy graduate was sold to Preston North End in August 2019 for a reported £2million after successfully breaking through into the first team, helping Mark Robins’ men gain promotion to League One. However, the midfielder struggled to kick on and get game time at Deepdale and was eventually loaned out to Wigan before joining League One Shrewsbury on a free in 2022 at the end of his three year contract. He appeared 81 times for the Shrews, notching up 10 goals and nine assists. Still only 25, Bayliss is looking for another club.

Ryan Haynes - Northampton Town

Former Academy graduate Haynes broke into the City first team as a teenager and made just short of 100 appearances for the club, including helping the Sky Blues to Checkatrade Trophy success at Wembley in 2017. He then moved on to Shrewsbury Town for an undisclosed fee for a season in 2018 before switching to Newport County for three seasons. Most recently he joined the Cobblers for the last two years where he was to be reunited with former City teammates Lee Burge and Jordan Willis. The left-back is now 28.

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