Academy sides were in action over the weekend
- Under-17s and Under-19s feature in pre-season
- Both take on Senior Team
- Thoughts of Jon Worthington and Dean Whitehead
Both Huddersfield Town’s Under-17 and Under-19 sides were in pre-season action over the weekend as preparations continue for the upcoming campaign.
The Under-17s were the first to come up against a senior outfit on Friday evening when they made the short trip to 10th-tier side Emley AFC.
The Young Terriers may have been on the wrong end of the 2-0 scoreline but Under-17s Coach Jon Worthington was happy with the overall display from the youngsters.
“We took loads of positives to be honest.
“The game was an excellent physical challenge for our boys playing against men and I thought they equipped themselves really well.”
The exposure to the more physical side of the game is a key factor in the Academy’s fixtures against senior teams.
Jon insists that side to it is important to see but knows there is more to the pre-season games too.
“The physical challenge is massive. Also, a big encouragement for us, is that the things we’ve been working on in training were there in the performance.
“For me and the coaches to see that was very encouraging. It helps with the learning for the players, knowing that they’re taking information on board and putting it into practice.”
Friday evening’s game was one of the first for the Under-17s who are in the first two weeks of their programme at Huddersfield Town. Jon has been impressed with what he’s seen from the players, both on and off the pitch so far.
“They’ve applied themselves for the first two weeks brilliantly in training, showed great attitude and enthusiasm to be in the building which is really encouraging.
“I’ve been very impressed. I’m getting to know them and they’re getting to know me and the rest of the staff.
“I think their behaviour around the building along with attitude and application has been first class, so it’s been a good start.”
Dean Whitehead’s Under-19s also had another pre-season run out over the weekend, narrowly losing out to Northern Irish Club Larne FC 2-0. Deano believes that the game was highly beneficial to the Young Terriers.
“It was a great game for us, really tough for us mentally, physically and tactically.
“We needed plenty of communication and physically we needed to deal with it in terms of running, tactically and mentally - they needed to be at their full potential all game.
“To be fair they did struggle with that a little bit, they struggled to resolve it on the pitch but once we got to a level where we knew what they were doing and we told them what we wanted them to do, they did it better.”
Larne is a familiar opponent for Town’s Under-19s who faced last season and came away with a 5-1 defeat. Between the two games, Deano has seen plenty of improvement from his young side.
“We went there six months ago, and we’ve improved since then with a younger set of lads. All in all, it was a really tough test, but we learnt a lot about each individual player.”
Prior to the fixture against Larne, Deano’s young side beat Evo-Stik Premier Division side South Shields FC 2-0 a few days earlier. The Under-19s Coach was delighted with how his team coped with the intensity of two games in quick succession.
“They went to South Shields and had to really focus and do all the fundamentals of football really well. Then to see them try and back it up two days later against a better side was really pleasing for us coaches. It was a good afternoon for a lot of things.”
Larne FC 2-0 Huddersfield Town U19s
Jacob Chapman; Jaheim Headley (Mo Diaby, 73’), Nassim Kherbouche, Tom Bamford, Ilounga Pata; Isaac Marriott (c), Josh Austerfield, (Seth Meeson, 67’), Sam Sharrock-Peplow (Tim Akinola, 37’); Will McCamley, Olly Dyson, Kai Herbert (Andrew Ijiwole, 61’)