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FOUR U21 PLAYERS SET TO LEAVE

29 November 2013

Burke, McIntyre, Hopson & Leonard won’t be offered new deals

Four members of Huddersfield Town’s Development Squad will not be offered new contracts when their current deals expire at the end of December.

Central defender James Burke; left back Robbie McIntyre; midfielder Dale Hopson and striker Max Leonard have today been informed that they will not be offered new contracts by the Club when their current contracts expire on 31 December.

Huddersfield Town’s Senior Professional Development Coach Steve Eyre commented:

“All four players have made a big contribution within our Development Squad since the start of the 2012/13 season and have worked very hard every day in training, so it is not pleasant for the Manager and the staff to tell the players that they are not part of the Club’s plans moving forward. 

“Their departures from Huddersfield Town do not necessarily signal the end of their football careers and, as a Club, we will do everything we can to get them fixed up with other teams if that is the path they choose.”

19 year-old Burke is a graduate of the Huddersfield Town Academy, having initially joined the Club from local side Lepton in August 2008. Able to play at centre back or right back, James signed his first professional contract at the conclusion of the 2011/12 season. 

His 2012/13 campaign was disrupted by injury, but he still made nine appearances for Town’s Under-21 side, supplemented by a further five out on loan at non-league Radcliffe Borough. This season he has made a further eight appearances for the Under-21s to date.

Defender Robbie McIntyre, 19, joined Town from Rangers in the summer of 2012. A former Scottish Youth Cup finalist and Scotland Under-17 international, Robbie played 21 games for Town’s Under-21 side at left back last season but injury restricted him early in the season. He has returned to full fitness and has made two substitute appearances so far this term. He also featured against Mansfield Town in a recent behind-closed-doors game.

Versatile midfielder Dale Hopson was born in Stockton-on-Tees and started his career in Middlesbrough’s Academy before joining Conference outfit Darlington. He made 15 senior appearances in the Blue Square Bet Premier Division before leaving the Quakers and joining Town ahead of last season. Now 21, Dale made 23 U21 appearances for Town last season – scoring two goals – and has made a further eight U21 starts this season.

Max Leonard’s departure will end his long association with the Club; the Huddersfield local joined Town’s Academy at Under-9 level from local side Westend Juniors. He earned his first professional contract in the summer of 2012 and made three goals in 13 Under-21 appearances last season, as well as two goals in four starts for Garforth Town on loan.

He has been deployed in midfield this season, playing seven games in total. 

All four players will still be available to Town for the upcoming Under-21 Professional Development League fixtures at Barnsley on 2 December and at home to Sheffield United on 16 December. 

Everyone at Huddersfield Town would like to wish the players the best of luck and success in their future endeavours. 

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