Captain excited ahead of season opener
Huddersfield Town Captain, Peter Clarke spoke to htafc.com ahead of the first competitive game of the season against Preston on Monday (7.45pm).
Proceeding Town's trip to Deepdale is an even longer one to the Cardiff City Stadium where Town will open their Championship account, and Pete admitted that only up until recently did the fact that he was a Championship player sink in.
“I think the whole experience of promotion was still surreal up until the fixtures for the Championship came out last month,” said Pete.
“I think then the realisation set in that we are a Championship club and will be playing against some of the biggest clubs in English football, in some fantastic venues. As with any team that gets promoted into a new league the first objective is to secure your place in it for the following season, but we don’t want to be battling down at the wrong end of the league - we want to be surprising a few people and giving a good account of ourselves.”
Peter has watched as Simon Grayson has introduced seven new faces to his squad for the Championship campaign and Town’s skipper has been very impressed by what he has seen.
“The Manager is very shrewd and he has made several acquisitions over the summer. The lads that have come in have fitted in great and through playing games and from training day, in, day out you begin to build an understanding and I think that is beginning to happen, which is a good sign.”
Two of the incomings – Keith Southern and Anthony Gerrard – have played alongside previously Peter at Everton and Blackpool respectively.
“I played with them both before in my career – Keith far more than Anthony. I can certainly say on behalf of the lads that they are wholehearted players who will give you everything that have got out on the field. Keith has a terrific engine and gets around the pitch well; he breaks things up and gives it nice and simple – he can also weigh in with his fair share of goals.
“Anthony is a tough lad, a no-nonsense type of defender. He is very competitive and he can play a bit from the back.”
Town start the season with four games in two weeks, a challenge Pete is looking forward to taking on.
“As in any league, or competition, there is a never any easy game. You have to earn the right to win football matches and that will be no different this season. The start is going to be very tough; we are away twice in the first week and we will do our best to give good accounts of ourselves.”
Peter continued: “Pre-season is always tough and the workload is always long and hard, but it is about getting ready and match fit. When you get to the back-end of pre-season all you want to do is start playing competitive football. It is the first time in my career where the League Cup starts before the season proper, so it is a little bit odd, but it makes no difference and it is a game that we want to do well in.”
Preston tickets are available on the gate at Deepdale priced at £10 adults £5 concessions!