Town’s U21 boss delighted with his young players- Frankie Bunn delighted with U21 PDL2 victory
- SPD Coach praises defenders for the win
- Bunn gives credit to players' reaction to equaliser
Huddersfield Town’s Senior Professional Development Coach Frankie Bunn was a proud man after seeing the Under-21s win the PDL2 Play-Off Final at Sheffield United today.
Second half goals from William Boyle and Jacob Hanson, bookending a Blades equaliser, added the PDL2 Championship cup to the northern title earned a month ago.
“Outstanding. It’s a great achievement for the boys to do the double,” Frankie told htafc.com.
“Today it wasn’t pleasing to the eye, but we got over the line. There were a few supporters here and the players deserve that adulation. I’m a proud man tonight.”
The Terriers’ defenders deserved lots of praise for keeping the game goalless as the home side enjoyed the better of the first-half, executing several important blocks in the penalty area. On the occasions the defence was breached, 16 year-old goalkeeper Ryan Schofield was on hand to execute three impressive stops.
Bunn continued: “I thought our back four and goalkeeper won us the game. Their best players were the front two and if we kept them quiet, we were always going to have a chance.
“It was always going to be tough. They had Che Adams up front – a tough opponent – and I thought (centre backs) Will Boyle and Danny Kane were outstanding against him; a player who cost money and has represented their First Team in League 1 football. I thought our two youngsters were terrific.
“It was fitting that it was the right back (Jacob Hanson) who got the winner, because we didn’t half defend well.”
Another 16 year-old, Jordan Williams, was introduced in the second half and had a hand in both goals, crossing for Boyle to head the Terriers ahead and winning the ball back high up the pitch before Jacob Hanson’s winner.
“We wanted to freshen things up and give ourselves a bit more pace as an outlet. I thought we were giving the ball away too much in the opposition’s half; we were getting out, but then not retaining the ball,” Frankie explained.
“We switched Ronan (Coughlan) into the number 10 role and he looked a bit tidier in there.
“It was a great ball in from Jordan for our first goal; he will tell you it was a cross, but I think it was a cross! We still took the goal as it came.”
Bunn was particularly proud of the reaction of his youngsters after Sheffield United equalised barely 60 seconds after the game’s opening goal.
“It was unbelievable that they equalised inside a minute, but what a response. We went and scored again with three minutes to go.
“That was the story throughout the whole season. These lads do not know when to give up or think they’re beaten, which they showed today. They showed a gritty side. They keep on running and believing.”
Frankie was also delighted that his side showed its true colours in the second half, particularly after the team didn’t reach its usual heights in the semi-final of this season’s Premier League Cup; another big occasion for the young players.
“This lot will tell you that I am a tough taskmaster and on Thursday, I told them that they should have won all three trophies this season (the PDL2 Play-Off Final, Northern title and Premier League Cup).
“We just didn’t turn up in that Premier League Cup semi-final against Hull and I keep going back to it, because it irked me so much. I think they put that one to bed today, because they care just as much about their performances and results.
“Their behaviour is also impeccable; wherever we go, we hear comments about it. They’re not just good footballers, but they’re decent human beings as well.”
Frankie reserved a final word for the two Under-16 players in the team, goalkeeper Ryan Schofield and substitute Jordan Williams, who had a busy day before match day:
“It was funny in training on Friday because Jordan and Ryan came in to train in their school uniforms, as they had to go back in the afternoon! Today they played Under-21s football.
“They are terrific prospects, but we have to keep their feet on the ground. In football, you can never take your foot off the gas or stop learning.
“They’ve perhaps been introduced earlier than we would have liked, but they have coped and the future may be bright for them.”
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