Initially signed as a back-up player while we were in League Two, Dominic Hyam’s progress at Coventry City has been as remarkable as the club’s itself. Hyam was very much a fringe player during his first year at the club, before establishing himself in the starting line-up towards the end of the campaign. It was the following year that saw Hyam make his most drastic improvement as a player, nailing down a starting spot in the side and winning the player of the year award for his consistent displays at the heart of defence. Hyam carried that progress into last season, playing an integral role on the left side of the back three – not easy for a right-footer – as we won the League One title from the platform of a solid defensive unit.
One of the most consistent and reliable players in the squad, Hyam has developed into a very composed and intelligent centre-back. He isn’t a player that immediately catches the eye, it’s only when you watch him over the course of a few games that it is apparent just how calmly he spots and deals with danger – especially as his positioning means he rarely has to make particularly notable actions on the pitch. Hyam’s lack of flashiness is further exemplified by his qualities on the ball, he isn’t the type of ball-playing centre-back to make eye-catching 50-yard passes to switch the play but he is very comfortable with the ball at his feet, which helps the team reliably progress the ball from defence to the midfield.
Hyam is a player who has earned the opportunity to play in the Championship, there seems little doubt that he will make that step up. If he is to continue on the left of a back three he could probably do with developing his ability to pass with his left foot, he has, on occasion last season, failed to spot passes that would be obvious to a left-footer. Without being blessed with pace or the ability to dominate opponents physically, Hyam’s positioning is going to be tested in the Championship in a way it hasn’t been in Leagues One and Two. This season is going to put Hyam’s ability as a defender under stern inspection.