Huddersfield Town has signed four players to play in its Development squad ahead of today’s match against Sheffield United.
Scott Kay, Tom Smith, Dale Hopson and Robbie McIntyre have all signed short term deals with the Club and will train and play under the stewardship of Steve Eyre in the Development squad.
Steve, who will be on the touchline today when his side take on Sheffield United U21s at Canalside from 1pm, commented:
“It has been recognised that the gap between the Academy and the First Team is the hardest bridge to tackle in football. There has been a lot of talent wasted in recent years, but now the FA has introduced new guidelines to keep players in the game longer and allow for those individuals that develop later in their careers.
“Hopefully the restructure should create a programme where players between the ages of 18 and 21 are coached properly and also given game time on a regular basis.
He added: “There is uncut talent with the players that we have signed. Hopefully with what the football club has got in place it should give them more time to develop their talents, which in the past they haven’t been afforded.”
Scott Kay (22, central midfielder)
Scott worked with Steve Eyre and Academy Coach Frankie Bunn during his time in the Manchester City youth system. The central midfielder was part of the youth team that lifted the FA Youth Cup in 2008 and he also skipped the reserve side.
A strong passer of the ball, Kay appeared on the bench when City played Juventus in a Europa League tie in 2010 but never managed to make a first team appearance before being released at the end of the 2010/11 season.
Kay signed for npower League 2 Macclesfield Town following his release and made 12 starts and six substitute appearances last term, but was released at the end of the season. The 22 year-old has been on trial with the Club over the last few months and featured in a number of the Club’s pre-season friendlies. He came on as a late substitute against Chesterfield and produced a fantastic ball to set up Jordan Sinnott for the third goal in the game.
Tom Smith (20, defender)
Smith is a versatile defender who can play at right-back or at centre-back. The 20 year-old is another product of the Manchester City youth system having joined them in the 2003/04 season after four years at Tranmere Rovers.
Like Kay, Smith made excellent progress in the youth system at City and progressed to play in the Elite Development squad, but never managed to make an appearance for the first team.
The defender had trials at Oxford United this summer before joining Town where has played at right-back in the opening two development games.
Dale Hopson (19, midfielder)
Hopson is another player who offers Steve Eyre great versatility with his ability play on the wing or from the centre of midfield.
Born in Stockton-on-Tees, Hopson spent his youth career in the Middlesbrough Academy before moving to Conference outfit Darlington. The midfielder, who possesses good movement, made his debut for Darlington last term against Ebbsfleet and scored in his first two senior appearances. Playing alongside on loan Town midfielder Chris Atkinson, Hopson went on to make 15 appearances in the Blue Square Bet Premier before being released when Darlington entered administration.
The 19 year-old enjoyed a trial with Carlisle United in the summer before joining Town’s Development squad.
Robbie McIntyre (18, left-back)
Scottish born McIntyre is formerly of Rangers and has been capped by his country at under-17 level.
The left-back featured in Town’s opening game of the U21 season against Crewe and is likely to feature again today against Sheffield United. The 18 year-old played in the 2011 Scottish Youth Cup Final and was handed a first team squad number last season before being released by Rangers in the summer.
Town’s Development team are in action today at Canalside from 1pm against Sheffield United. The game is open to the public and free of charge – so come down and support the Terriers!