Coventry City welcomed back two long-term injuries this week when Dan Bartlett and Joe Newton turned out for the Under-23s.
The Sky Blues’ pair featured in Luke Tisdale ’s development squad who played out a 1-1 draw with the club’s groundshare landlords, Birmingham City.
Having taken the lead through Jordan Young, unfortunately the young Sky Blues conceded a late equaliser to deny them an opening three points in the Professional Development League.
But the big positive on the day was the return to action for left-back Newton and midfielder Bartlett.
Teenager Bartlett, who joined City from Southampton last summer, saw his season cut short last September when he suffered an ACL injury, while Newton – who signed from non-league Royston Town for an undisclosed fee last summer – broke his leg during lockdown, which meant he missed pre-season.
“It was great for Barts (Dan Bartlett) to be back out there and him and Joe both deserve a lot of credit because it’s been a really tough journey for them, especially with Dan who had an ACL injury,” said Tisdale, who handed 90 minutes to an unnamed trialist, who appears to have played in a forward role.
“Newton broke his leg in lockdown and trained with us for four sessions and had to play 90 minutes, whilst Barts played 45 on his return.
“It had been a long time for Barts so it was great to have him back and he looked good as well which is important, and you can see that he’s still a very talented footballer.”
The fact that City are running the rule over a trialist shows the club are still looking to be active in the transfer market, albeit trying to add to the development squad.
Jay McGrath is the most recent addition, joining the club from Mickleover FC in July.
The 17-year-old centre-back signed a two-year deal from the Northern Premier Division side and made his debut against Blues, playing the full 90 minutes.