Dean Whitehead leading Young Terriers into busy schedule
- Under-19s take on Harrogate Town on Tuesday
- Young Terriers then head to Spain for pair of high-level games
- Coach Dean Whitehead describes the challenges ahead
Huddersfield Town’s Under-19 players will face an array of different challenges over the next fortnight thanks to the Club’s unique games programme.
First up for Dean Whitehead’s Young Terriers is a return trip to face a Harrogate Town side expected to include senior players on Tuesday in a 11.30am kick-off at the Vanarama National League club’s CNG Stadium.
The Under-19s have already played Harrogate this season, losing 3-1 despite a good performance back in October, and Whitehead is looking for improvement from the youngsters as they look to cope with the physical edge of men’s football.
“Our games programme is great in that it gives our players different challenges. You get the technical challenge against top-tier Academies, but also tests like this one against a very good senior Harrogate side.
“We have struggled against these sides, because this will be the first time that our players face, for instance, a typical ‘British’ number nine. These opponents don’t come up in a usual Academy games’ programme. These boys get the ball forward and they fight hard.
“We’re going back there for the second time this season and we will see if the lads understand what we’ve told them in how you compete and overcome that challenge.”
The squad will then head to Spain for a pair of games against Under-19 sides from mainland Europe next week.
Basing themselves in Seville, Whitehead’s youngsters will face Real Betis Under-19s on Monday 4 February (10am KO local) before facing Sevilla’s Under-19s on Thursday 7 February (11am KO local).
“I’m sure this will be a first trip away for several of our younger players and it’s a real learning experience,” Dean continued.
“You have to get used to the travel and representing the Club in a proper way, we well as playing in a different country against players who will be technically very good. There really is a focus on taking the good behaviours we have instilled in them throughout the season into these trips though.”
“As for the older players who have already experienced trips like this, it is a good gauge to see what they have learned throughout the year.”
A pair of Town’s Under-17 players – Josh Austerfield (pictured above) and Kian Harratt – will train and play with the Under-19 group for the rest of the season, as Dean explained.
“Those two players deserve the chance. They’ve done everything properly off the pitch, working hard in the gym, and our staff believe they are ready to step up and challenge themselves.
“It is a real challenge, too. Josh has started the last two Under-19 games, with Kian starting the last one, and this is the next step in their development. They must try and impact games at an older level and they will feel the benefit of being around older, better players.”
There was the latest Academy game of the season on Saturday, with Town’s Under-17 side showing more glimpses of what is to come despite a defeat against an older Chesterfield side in the Youth Alliance League.
Town’s Under-17 side vs Chesterfield (3-4-3)
Giosue Bellagambi; Mustapha Olagunju, Nassim Kherbouche, Tom Bamford; Sam Sharrock-Peplow, Seth Meeson, Tom Bell (c) (Albert Rachi, 80’), George Alfieri (Andrew Ijiwole, 70’); Jaheim Headley (Remi Thompson, 80’), Kian Harratt (Izaak Larbi, 65’), Robson Shipley
Chesterfield 4-1 Huddersfield Town Under-17s