Club announces scholarships to Under-16 players
Seven Under-16 players will begin two year scholarships at the Huddersfield Town Academy from the start of the 2013/14 season with the goal of eventually becoming professional footballers.
Huddersfield Town Academy Manager Mark Lillis and the team held individual meetings with the current Under-16 players recently and awarded two years scholarships to five players; defenders Fraser Horsfall and Nathaniel Pells; midfielders Ben Atkinson and Jack Senior and winger Sheiden Rodgers.
Two other players have been recruited to start their two year scholarships alongside that quintet; Ireland Under-16 Captain Danny Kane (click HERE
for full info) and former Manchester United right back Bradley Carroll.
Starting from next season, the new scholars will form Town’s Under-18 group alongside the current set of first year scholars to complete a full programme of fixtures and full-time training under Academy Manager Mark Lillis and Professional Development Coaches Frankie Bunn and Tony Carss.
Alongside their on the field activity, they will also complete an educational NVQ programme headed by the LFE and Town’s Education and Welfare Officer Karen Crosland.
Town’s Academy Manager Mark Lillis commented:
“I would like to start by congratulating the seven players on their new scholarships; they have all worked very hard and shown great dedication to reach this stage of their journey as budding footballers.
“However, the hard work starts all over again for these players now! Their aim in the next two years is to replicate the achievements of the likes of Alex Smithies and Jack Hunt and eventually progress to the First Team. That will be done through hard work, dedication and ability on the field.
“All the players and their parents didn’t hesitate to sign on the dotted line and I think that is testament to the pathways we have at Huddersfield Town. Everyone can see that you can progress at Huddersfield; if you have the ability, you will get the chance.
“The challenge on the field for these boys over the next two years is to continue to improve, establish themselves in the Under-18 side and then start to make an impression on Senior Professional Development Coach Steve Eyre’s Under-21 squad. How quickly that progression happens will come down to each player’s individual development.
“Equally we realise that not every player in the Academy will go on to have a long career as a professional footballer and we put a lot of emphasis on the off the field work we undertake. We aim to ensure that after completion of the two year scholarship programme, our boys leave the Academy as better all-round individuals – regardless of whether they progress as footballers at this Club or not.
“Sadly there were also players in our Under-16 group who we didn’t offer scholarships to and it is important that they realise this isn’t the end of the road for them. I was released in my early days at Manchester City and I still went on to enjoy a great career. We will do everything we can to help them find a new club if football is still the path they choose to follow.”
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