American Football
Coventry Jets graduate makes the grade

By Steve Carpenter 04/04 Updated: 04/04 14:37

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Buy photos » Jets signing Jonny Muanza is hoping to make an impact on the first team. (s) Photo by Alan Steel.

JONNY Muanza has become the latest graduate to rise through the ranks into the Coventry Jets first team.

The wide receiver will make the step up after two years with the Jets Junior side with fellow graduates quarterback Joe Brammer and receiver Alex Preece.

The 19-year-old was born in Kinshasa in the Capital of the Democratic Republic of Congoand moved to Coventry in 2000. And he revealed he only joined the Jets after losing a bet with head coach Paul Rickhuss.

"Rickhuss used to coach at my school and ran into me while I was playing basketball," said Muanza, who is currently studying product design at Stoke Park.

"He challenged me to a game and that if I lost I would have to come training with the Jets.

"I took the challenge thinking I would win but didn’t. I kept my word, came to training a few weeks later and never looked back.

"We’ve been working very hard right since the end of the 2011 season to show that last year was just a blip.

"I’m eligible to play another year of junior but I’ve shown that I’m capable of playing senior and I’m hoping for a bigger challenge to better myself as a player."

Muanza emerged as a talented receiver during 2011, his speed taking him deep for several long gains as the juniors landed on the verge of a first ever playoff berth.

Richuss added: "We have an abundance of good young receivers so he’ll have to work hard to earn a place on the field. He’ll get time though and I’m sure he’ll contribute right away."

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