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FRANKIE PROUD OF TOWN’S U21s

14 May 2015

Bunn discusses last night’s Final defeat

It may have been a disappointed coach that made the long trip back from South Wales after the 3-2 Under-21 PDL2 Final defeat at Swansea last night, but Frankie Bunn says everyone connected with Huddersfield Town should be proud of the Club’s young players.

Senior Professional Development Coach Frankie believes there is evidence throughout the season at Under-21 and below that the Town Academy is moving forward, as he told htafc.com:

“I think it is testament to all the Academy staff and players that this was a third successive final for a combination of the Under-18 and Under-21 sides. 

“We’ve played away at a Premier League club and we’ve come away really disappointed not to have won. Ultimately the game is about development as well, but if you reach a final you have to try to win it.”

On the game, Frankie explained:

“I thought we had a go, but errors and bad decisions cost us on the evening. 

“Swansea are renowned for their passing style, but I thought we coped with that in the opening 20 minutes; we started the game really well on the ball and created a couple of chances. We went 1-0 up and didn’t look in any real danger when we got into our shape; Swansea were shooting from distance and that was fine. 

“Then an error from a corner cost us, so we went into half-time at 1-1. I thought we started the second-half brightly as well and created another couple of chances, but goals change games and unfortunately they didn’t go in for us.

“Swansea scored the second one through some poor defending and then the third came through a poor decision; we tried to play out and got caught. 

“Ultimately the boys keep going. At that point we could have been looking at four or five, but they stuck at it and we pulled it back to 3-2. In the end we just missed out on an equaliser in the closing moments of the game, when Jack Senior’s volley just got deflected away for a corner. 

“Tactically we stuck to our game-plan, but our decision-making needs to be improved in certain areas of the field. Maybe there’s a bit of individual defending to do to; not going to ground when one on one. Overall it was not a bad performance though.”

The key for the Development Squad players is to learn from these experiences and be better next time, as Frank commented:

“This is part of the development. We’ve played in big stadia already this season to get this far, such as the semi-final at another Premier League club in Selhurst Park, and there was a crowd in last night to watch a game on a fantastic pitch in a good stadium. The players then have to perform in a big final; you need to turn up and produce.” 

Now that the final game of the 2014/15 season is complete, Bunn explained that the work starts in earnest for the next campaign.

“The players are in on Thursday afternoon and we’ll have individual chats with all the players. We’ll give them fitness programmes to work on through the summer and they’ll go away knowing what they need to do next year. We’ll talk about the technical and tactical work they need to do to improve, as that’ll make them think about it before they return in early July.”

Although the season ended with defeat in the Final, Frankie was keen to stress what a good season of development it has been:

“It’s been a gruelling few months and this was our 38th game of the season. We’ve reached the quarter finals of the Premier League Cup and now the League Play-Off Final, beating Premier League clubs along the way in both. Unfortunately we came up short at Swansea, but there’s still a lot to be proud of. The Academy is moving in the right direction.

“The ultimate goal is to produce players for our First Team, which we are striving to do.”

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