Adi Viveash Interview.

Adi Viveash was born on September 30th, 1969 in Swindon and had a good playing career before turning to coaching.  He takes up his early years..  

" I played for my school team from the age of 11 then Brinkworth and Wroughton boys teams. I had schoolboy trials at U13's with 4 others from school  and had a great PE teacher, Graham Tanner, who would drive me to training each Monday night.  I left school at 16 and 9 months and was taken on as a two year apprentice by manager Lou Macari.  He was very much old school and would have us doing 6 mile runs. When my parents were invited down to see him  he got up, wearing a pair of underpants!  My poor mum God bless her didn't know where to look!  He said to them 'Adi will make a good living out of the game, but he'll never play for Barcelona!' 

"In my time at Swindon I played under Lou Macari, Ossie Ardiles,  Glenn Hoddle,  John Gorman and Steve Mc Mahon. I started out as a striker, moved to left wing and then centre back under Ardiles. Glenn was nearly 34 and it was interesting to learn under him. He struggled with one to one eye contact, initially. I was like Glenn's understudy as a player." By the time his contract was up in 1995 there was a situation, " Swindon had put a half a million price tag on me but by the October they let me go for nothing."

"There was a bit of interest in me, Millwall was one, however a trial game was held at Bescot behind closed doors.  We won 2-0 and I played pretty well with the ball, which was a bit too much for Chris Nicholl!  I was offered a month's contract but a week into that I was given a contract till the end of the season. Chris Nicholl taught me a lot about positional sense, how to use my  body, getting me to work hard. He was outstanding.  A top bloke too. We had some great young players come through like Keatesy, Platty, Ropes, Ricketts etc.  Credit must be given to Mick Halsall and his staff too."

"After Chris, Jan Sorensen came in and it must have been a bit of a culture shock for him.  Ajax to Bescot!  In truth that 1997-8 season under him we should have been relegated.  We were quite poor over the 46 games and we were lucky that some teams were worse than us.  But we managed to survive.  There were some exciting players that season.  Jeff Peron , one of best I have ever played with and Roger Boli. There were some fine cup performances that season, reaching the area final cup final of what is now the EFL Trophy  and that day out at Manchester United in the FA Cup with Roger scoring that firecracker of a header."

" We went on an end of the season holiday from the club as they had made a lot of money from the cup runs and Paul Taylor informed me that Jan had been sacked. I felt for Jan and felt sorry for him a bit, he was a great man.  I was back at home in the off season catching up on jobs and was painting my living room and the phone rang.  'Is that Adrian?' the voice inquired. Only my mother God rest her soul ever called me that. I replied its' Adi. The voice said 'Adrian, this is Ray Graydon, I'm your new boss. How far away do you live?' 30 minutes away. I'll see you here in an hour then'. I was fuming as I  was painting so I got in the car to see him just as I was., in old shorts and paint all over me including my face. There was Ray all smart you could see your face in the shine of his highly polished shoes. I thought this is not going down too well.  Other senior players and myself were told of the way he wanted it..  The dress code, shirt and trousers, wanted us clean shaven etc. We wanted polo t shirts etc anyway he set his stall."

"From the day we set out on the pitch at Ayr in pre-season with Jimmy Walker having to play out field because of lack of numbers to going on to win promotion . Fantastic!  He was a fantastic coach. He brought in experienced players like Neil Pointon and Andy Rammell.   Credit to Paul Taylor too.  We had an excellent spirit.  We mixed well and socialised a lot  but we worked hard.  Players were on similar money, we played for the cause. There was a lot of repetitive stuff under Ray but we had a clear plan.  We won 1-0 at Gillingham which set the tone for the season. We punched miles above our weight. Winning promotion against Oldham was fantastic and Ray got all he deserved. The guard of honour for the Fulham game, praise off Kevin Keegan etc. Ray Graydon was a lucky person in as much as  he had winners in his dressing room."

"In the Championship season we took it to the very last game. There were great 'derby' games along the way  with us doing very well in those. My last game for Walsall, at Ipswich, was emotional for me.  There was a lump in my throat on the final whistle and I was very grateful to the reception they gave me.  That thought will live with me forever."

1996 -97 Was a great year for goals as well as performances for the player as he notched 10.

He also had two back to back Player Of The Season awards with us and was runner up to Dwight Yorke in the Midland Player Of The Year in 1997.

Adi moved to Reading that summer and he spoke of his day in the play off final at the end of that season - against Walsall. "That final, at the Millennium in Wales, played on a rugby pitch!  It was a tight game, like we thought it would be.  After taking the lead, then getting it to 2-1 we felt comfortable, we were keeping the ball well. Barry Hunter comes on as sub 'cold' and  hits the ball against the head of Tony Rougier and its in the net.  Darren Byfield spins me and finishes with a daisy cutter."

"It took a long time mentally to get over that, I was pleased for my friends though and if I had to lose to a team in a final like that then it would be Walsall.  The  Walsall players  were celebrating and rightfully so and we took a long time to get out of our dressing room.  Bang on cue as I was going down a lift who should I see there as the doors opened? Jimmy Walker who said, 'Going up!'  What a line!  I took a lot of good humoured banter off those lads over the years!"

"I was at Reading 3 years and we gained promotion finishing in second place.  Alan Pardew taught me a lot, he was very interesting. I went on loan to Oxford and Kidderminster.  Jan Molby was manager at Kiddy and as a big Liverpool fan myself it was a great experience working with him. Keatesy was there too. I drifted about a bit then I signed for Cirencester Town. I was semi professional and had 18 months there playing on at 36 and I was player / manager. It gave me the chance  to implement  my coaching ideas whilst still playing.  I enjoyed the social aspect of being at a non-league club and I got the life of the  players who were working long hour shifts at places like Honda and training with me on Tuesday and Thursday nights." 

Then came Chelsea. ."As I became youth coach at Chelsea I passed my pro-licence. I coached groups from the U12's to the U23's in my time there and had 9 brilliant years and won a few things with brilliant players. Conti came in and wanted his own staff.  I didn't want to leave.  Then my old Walsall team mate Mark Robins invited me to join him as his assistant at Coventry.  We have our our differences of opinion.   We've developed 3 teams in  2 and a half years since we've been together and we have got the average age of the players down from 29 to 22 in that time.  I love developing players on grass.  A brand of football we've produced is evolution.  That's my background."

Adi then went into detail regarding the prospect of having to groundshare ..  "There were no pre-season friendlies at St Andrews.  We played Southend at 'home' first game with 6,000 in.  The players and staff have been  looked after brilliantly by Birmingham.  They have been incredible to us, from the groundsman to the  CEO.  Our fans have been great.  We had 11,000,  against  Sunderland -  Ok they had 4,000  and 10,000 against Rotherham.  It looks strange with not all the stadium open and nobody behind us in the dug out.  In 34 games we have only lost 3 and only 1 at home." 

When asked about his thoughts on one day stepping up to be a manger himself his response was , "I don't have any burning ambition to be a manager. I love working with youth teams and developing players.  Besides, the  higher you go up the exit door is looming!  I'm only young at 50 in terms of coaching I may be 2 years away from being at my best in my opinion. If ever I did step up somewhere it would be a head coach type of position.  I just love coaching.  I like the sounding board and the tactical side.  But I'm happy at Coventry.  We have a big fan base and potential.  I enjoy my work and everyday try to improve."

"I hope the season can be finished. For us, Coventry firstly as of our lofty position and then Swindon as my ex-club doing well and also for the integrity of our great game."

He finished with the poignant line, "Its all about peoples lives, not just football."


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