Dean speaks about the Club’s desire to improve- Dean Hoyle previews the 2016/17 season
- HTAFC Chairman looks for a 'step change'
- Hoyle: "we believe in David Wagner"
With under two weeks to go until the start of the 2016/17 Sky Bet Championship season, Huddersfield Town Chairman Dean Hoyle believes the Club is prepared to make a forward step thanks to a summer ofinvestment and commitment.
The Chairman believes the Terriers are ready to take a notable shift of gear after a summer of investment on and off the pitch, which has seen the Club’s transfer record broken and the development of the PPG Canalside training ground move forwards.
“I think it’s time for a step change. The Club needs to thrive, not just survive in the Sky Bet Championship,” Dean exclusively explained to htafc.com.
“People can see we’ve invested on the pitch this summer; the amount we’ve invested in players during this window is probably a record for Huddersfield Town. There have been big changes in the playing staff, but we were prepared for that as loanees and other players left. We also aimed to make our squad bigger given the end of Emergency Loans.
“We were unsuccessful last season in the January transfer window, but we have been working on the 12 players since last year right through to their arrival in Huddersfield. That’s easy to demonstrate; Chris Löwe came to the away game at Preston, Michael Hefele watched us play Burnley at home and Ivan Paurević saw us win at Bolton. These players have known their futures for a long time.
“We now have more experience in there – we’ve signed captains – and players like Jon Gorenc Stanković, so the future looks very bright as well.
“At the same time, we also focused on keeping our best players at the Club. Joel Lynch may have left, but we only allowed that to happen when we knew we had an adequate replacement to push on in Christopher Schindler.
“Off the pitch, we’ve spent another half a million pounds on PPG Canalside in the changing rooms, the physiotherapy department, a new gym, new offices for the First Team staff. We now have a nutritionist to further supplement our Sports Science department too.
“That’s all a step forward and we haven’t invested those sorts of sums in our football club so we can fight relegation again. Nobody at the Club is under the illusion that we’re happy to tread water again this year. The Club needs a step change.”
Dean felt that the Club could make these investments because of the ability and commitment that Head Coach David Wagner has demonstrated since his arrival as the Club’s first Head Coach from outside the UK and Ireland in November 2015.
“We’ve made these investments because we believe in David Wagner and his team.
“He demonstrated his capabilities last year through the way the team played and he has shown his commitment to the Club by signing a new contract this summer. We’re backing David because we believe he is the man to take us in the right direction.”
With optimism surrounding Huddersfield Town at a real high, Dean was keen to stress that no firm target has been given to the playing squad. Instead, the general aim is to make a tangible leap forward in the Club’s Sky Bet Championship standing.
Dean continued: “We have to be realistic over what a step change looks like for this Club.
“We all hope and dream about promotion – like every football fan – but there is no pressure on David and the squad to achieve this now. We simply want to take a step forward. We’ve set no internal target over a finishing position; instead, there is no limit on what we want this season. We’re simply striving to be better than we have been since returning to this level in 2012.”
The season is now just around the corner and Hoyle is relishing the exciting start that the Club has been handed in the 2016/17 fixture list:
“We’re less than two weeks away from the start of the season, when Brentford visits the John Smith’s Stadium. As we know all too well, they finished last season very strongly! After the final whistle on the last day of 2015/16, we all felt we had let ourselves down and we’ll be looking to put the record straight.
“Games at Newcastle and Villa follow on from that; two giants of the English game. What a way to start the new Championship season; happy days! Bring them on!”
With 15,000 fans taking up the Club’s £179 adult Season Card offer, Dean reserved his final words for Town supporters old and new:
“There’s no two ways about it; since promotion in 2012, the number of fans watching us had been on a downwards trend. I’m at the helm and I take full responsibility for that; I knew we had to reverse it.
“David’s arrival in November gave this Club a short, sharp shock – and you’ve really taken to him. We may have not finished last season as we liked, but Town fans are an educated football bunch and you’ve seen through that. Fans have bought into this plan and, combined with the investment this summer, things are looking up!
“The take-up of the amazing Season Card offer looks set to reach record numbers, as will be the attendance for the opening day game against Brentford. Things are really exciting at Huddersfield Town!
“Like everyone else I have my ups and downs, but the potential of what might come this season has me at the top of my game! I really want to push this Club forwards.”
Get your 2016/17 Season Card before the deadline at 5pm on 1 August; click HERE to buy online!
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