Butterfield gives his opinion on Dean’s arrival at HTAFC
- Jacob believes old Boro colleague brings value to the squad
- Thinks Town can challenge this season with the right improvements
- Praises Chris Powell’s influence on club morale
Reigning Player of the Year Jacob Butterfield believes new recruit and former Middlesbrough teammate Dean Whitehead will prove to be an excellent addition to Town’s First Team squad.
“I definitely think he can make a big impact,” Jacob told htafc.com.
“When we played together he sat deep in midfield and protected the back four. He plays that position really well. For us, he’ll be disciplined whilst sitting in front of that back line. This creates a platform for people like myself and the other attacking players to push forward more frequently; it gives us a license to play with freedom. With the role Dean plays defensively, he’ll be a shield, so the lads at the back will be glad to have him.”
Whitehead arrived at the John’s Smith Stadium on Tuesday after completing his move from Middlesbrough on a two year deal.
Butterfield added: “I think it’s a really good bit of business by the Club. We’ve correctly identified something we were lacking last season. He’s going to add a lot of knowledge to a young, talented team, so I think he’ll turn out to be an excellent signing for us.”
The ex-Barnsley, Norwich and Middlesbrough man was also quick to highlight the personal qualities Whitehead can provide when dealing with some of the younger players within the fold.
“He’s a good lad. He’s been there and done it at this level and higher. He’ll be a great lad to have around the place and that should have an effect on the pitch too. He’ll always have things to say through the season, especially when giving advice to the younger lads. They enjoy having people like Huds (Mark Hudson) around to speak to, so Dean coming in with all his knowledge is an added bonus.”
Butterfield’s goal when joining ‘The Yorkshire Club’ last season was to play regularly and he was delighted to achieve that – and more.
He explained: “First and foremost that’s what I wanted to do when I came here. I wanted to play as much as I could and make a big impact on the team, so that’s why I personally loved last year.
“I’m really enjoying my time here under the Manager; he’s been great since he came in. I think everyone’s got along with him and there’s a really positive atmosphere around the place as a result of that.”
As Powell’s first pre-season as Terriers’ boss approaches, Butterfield told htafc.com that now is the time to work on the team’s consistency.
“We finished 16th and we were all disappointed. We all felt we could’ve done so much better. I think everyone is optimistic about the new season; the players, the staff, the Chairman and everyone else associated with the Club.
“We’ve got this summer to work things and to improve the defensive frailties, so I’m really looking forward to next season already. With the young, talented squad we have, along with the experience of Dean coming in, who knows what can happen. I don’t see why we can’t mount a challenge nearer the top of the league.”
Town’s players report back for pre-season training on Wednesday 1 July; something Butterfield is chomping at the bit to get started with.
“I’m really looking forward to coming in for pre-season. It’s enjoyable; the footballs come out very early. Training before the season began always used to consist of running up hills and running around lakes, but like I say the work is a lot more football-specific now.”
Jacob rounded off his comments by adding: “I’m ready, refreshed, and ready to go at it again.”
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