Coaching staff join ahead of 2014/15 season
Huddersfield Town has made a series of key appointments to its first team coaching structure as it prepares for the 2014/15 Championship campaign.
The new appointments are the latest stage of an overhaul by Manager Mark Robins, which has been implemented following the departure of a number of coaches and support staff at the end of last season. The changes also impact on the Academy coaching and support structure as they include an internal reorganisation.
Steve Thompson – Assistant Manager
Steve joins Town as Mark Robins’ Assistant Manager, which is a new role in Town’s management and coaching structure.
Formerly of Blackpool Football Club, he joins the Club after leaving the Seasiders alongside Paul Ince in January 2014.
Steve, who is 49 years-old, enjoyed a 20 year playing career as a midfielder. He spent nine years playing at Bolton and made over 100 appearances for both Leicester City and Rotherham United before retiring in 2002 with Leigh RMI. During his time with the Foxes he scored six goals and won the Player of the Season award twice; he later described his time at the Club as his best three years as a footballer.
As a coach, he began his career in the Centre of Excellence at Blackpool before becoming Head of Youth Development in 2005. Following the appointment of former Town boss Simon Grayson as Blackpool Manager in 2005, Steve was promoted into the First Team coaching set-up a year later as First Team Coach. In the following season, he and Grayson achieved promotion to the Championship with Blackpool, for the first time in 29 years.
The following two seasons saw Blackpool work hard to retain their Championship status. They escaped relegation by two points in the 2007/08 season and despite Simon Grayson leaving half way through the 2008/09 campaign they improved to finish 16th.
Ian Holloway joined as Blackpool manager in 2009 and Thompson continued in his role as Assistant Manager. The pair gained promotion to the Premier League with a Championship Play-Off Final win against Cardiff in 2010. Steve remained as Holloway’s assistant throughout their Premier League campaign, which ended in last gasp relegation at the hands of Manchester United.
After Holloway’s departure, Steve worked with both Michael Appleton and then Paul Ince in the Championship and also took charge of the Seasiders as Caretaker Manager on two occasions; over the two spells he won four of his ten matches.
During his time at Blackpool Steve has also worked with the likes of Charlie Adam, Thomas Ince and Matt Philips who have developed and moved on to success. But it was as part of the unfashionable Blackpool set-up that took the Championship by storm in 2009/10 and created a great impact on the Premier League that Steve made his name.
Nick Colgan – Head of Goalkeeping
Nick Colgan has been promoted from his position as Academy Goalkeeper Coach to Head of Goalkeeping and First Team Goalkeeping Coach. The Club is particularly pleased to be able to promote from within and maintain continuity within its structure. Whilst focusing on the First Team, Nick will work very closely with the Academy on the development of all our goalkeepers and in particular the next Academy Goalkeeping Coach.
He made 10 appearances at international level for the Republic of Ireland with the bulk of his playing career at club level spent at Hibernian and Barnsley. He joined Town in 2011 with his limited appearances coming in cup competitions for the Terriers.
After appearing on the bench for Town in the Play-Off Final victory over Sheffield United, Nick retired from playing and took up his former post in the Academy where he had been working with the Club’s Academy goalkeepers, from Under-9s to Under-18s, on a full time basis since 2012.
Towards the end of last season the Irishman stepped up on a temporary basis to work with Alex Smithies and Ian Bennett with Paul Crichton side lined through injury.
Allan Stewart – Head of Sports Science
Al is a strength and conditioning specialist coach who brings over 15 years’ experience coaching national and international level individuals and teams.
His extensive career has seen him work with England Lacrosse (2001), Scotland Rugby League (2000-2006), Manchester City Football Club Academy (2005-2012) and most recently Hull City Football Club (2012-2014).
During his time at Manchester City, 18 of the Academy players that he worked with graduated to the First Team with five going onto represent their country.
Working with Steve Bruce, he was part of the support and coaching set up that guided Hull City to promotion to the Premier League in 2012/13 and then retained their status last season.
Dan Hughes – First Team Strength and Conditioning Coach
Like Nick Colgan, Hughes has been promoted into a First Team role from the Club’s Academy. Hughes joined the Academy as a Sports Scientist in April 2011, a role he has excelled in over the past three years.
Dan already has experience of working within the First Team set-up having made the step up on a temporary basis last season following the departure of Michael Rawson. He was regularly on the touchline towards the end of the season and will work closely with Al Stewart moving forward.
Stuart Heaviside – Academy Lead Sports Scientist
Stuart has worked with the Club as a Sports Science Intern over the past two seasons. He will now take on Hughes’ duties within the Academy on a permanent, full-time basis. He is the latest in the Club’s growing list of football interns to step up to a permanent role within the Club.
Huddersfield Town Manager Mark Robins spoke exclusively to htafc.com regarding the appointments:
“I am delighted that our new coaching team is taking shape well in advance of pre-season. As a group we have plenty of time over the next month to develop our working relationships and build rapport ahead of the players returning for the new season.
“A lot of work has been put into this process. I have personally met and talked to a lot of interesting and good people and the Club is clearly one that is attractive. I am really excited by what each individual will bring to the players and the coaching and support set-up; it is a fresh beginning.
“In line with the Club’s ethos I am also delighted that I have been able to promote Nick, Dan and Stuart from within, which maintains our commitment to continuity and development of staff as well as players. With the support of Dean, I have been able
to appoint an additional member of staff as Assistant Manager, which is a real positive.
“All three of those already at the Club, along with Steve and Al, bring a good mixture of youth and experience and I am very confident that along with the existing staff, we will all work well together and complement one another. They will bring fresh ideas and new approaches to their specific roles with good knowledge and good personalities about the place.
“We will work hard to improve our winning mentality, strengthen team-spirit and improve our coaching environment. There is still some more work to do though, with the appointment of a First Team Coach the next priority ahead of the new season, but I am pleased and excited with how things are shaping up.”
Following the announcement of these changes the Club is continuing its processes to appoint a First Team Coach and Academy Goalkeeping Coach.
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