Town’s youngsters win Northern League title
Huddersfield Town’s Under-18 side picked up two pieces of silverware during the 2013/14 campaign.
Frankie Bunn’s and Tony Carss’ youngsters won the U18 Professional Development League 2 North title at a canter; their nearest rivals Crewe Alexandra finished 13 points behind them.
As a result of finishing in the top two, the Terriers entered the end of the season Play-Offs where they would first defeat Queens Park Rangers (runners-up in the Southern league) before beating Crewe on penalties at the John Smith’s Stadium to win the Play-Off.
The Under-18s’ remarkable season also saw them reach the Quarter Final stage of the FA Youth Cup. They beat Luton, West Bromwich Albion and Manchester United before losing narrowly to Fulham at Craven Cottage. Fulham would eventually lose the final to London neighbours Chelsea.
Like Town’s Under-21s, the 18s made a fantastic start to the season going on a ten match unbeaten run. The 2013/14 campaign saw teams from the north take on teams from the south sporadically throughout the season. The thinking behind the move was that it would allow the youngsters to experience an overnight stay; something they would have to adjust to as a professional. It also meant that more games were played during the season.
In total, Town played eight teams from the south and boasted an impressive record. They won five, drew two and lost just once.
It was a defeat to southern based club Swansea that brought an end to their unbeaten start. The defeat only spurred on the Terriers though, who responded with a 5-0 win against Crystal Palace and a 4-2 victory at Barnsley.
Despite rounding off the regular season with a draw and a defeat, the Terriers won 18 of the their 26 matches scoring 67 goals and conceding just 36; their goal difference of +31 was the best of all 20 clubs in both leagues.
Frankie and Tony used just 20 players throughout the season with Jake Charles, William Boyle and Joe Wilkinson appearing the most times. Charles, who last season appeared mainly on the wing, impressed in a more attacking role and topped the scoring charts with 22 goals. He was followed closely by striker Flo Bojaj who notched 20 goals in 26 starts.
Regan Booty (11), Ben Atkinson (7) and William Boyle (6) all made notable contributions.
The U18s’ impressive form saw a number of players step up into Steve Eyre’s Under-21 team during the season. Atkinson, Phil Billing, Bojaj, Boyle, Bradley Carroll, Charles, Ben Holmes, Fraser Horsfall, Nat Pells, Mikey Starkey and Joe Wilkinson all appeared with Bojaj and Charles netting once.
At the conclusion of the season, Phil Billing, Flo Bojaj, William Boyle, Jake Charles, Sam Guthrie, Ben Holmes and Joe Wilkinson were offered their first professional contracts.
U18 Professional Development League 2 North table
Appearance and scorer statistics
|Ed Wilczynski *||Goalkeeper||8|
*denotes overage player
On htafc.com tomorrow, we will review former Captain Peter Clarke's time at Huddersfield Town