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WEAVER OUTLINES HIS THOUGHTS ON THE ACADEMY

31 May 2016

Steve explains his initial thoughts upon arriving at the Club

- Steve Weaver's first interview at Huddersfield Town
- New Academy Manager gives his thoughts on player development
- Weaver explains that David Wagner's style gives his guidelines

New Academy Manager Steve Weaver says the prevailing positive attitude at Huddersfield Town made this the job for him.

Steve joined the Club late last week, having worked in player development ever since his own playing career was curtailed by injury as an 18 year-old.

He worked as Head of Youth at Wrexham for over a decade before spending a further six years in development at Wolves ahead of joining Town.

It was a man he knows through the North Wales club who was one of the first to get in touch when he got the job at Town; former Terriers favourite Joey Jones.

“I know Joey really well – he’s a close friend – and he talks unbelievably fondly of the place; he loved it here. The first thing he told me was that I’d love the people, who will be dead straight, and that it is a good club.

“Obviously I know Stuart (Webber) from Wrexham and Wolves too and he’s the same. He sees a lot of scope in where the Club can go and was glowing about the potential. Given he worked at Liverpool, that says something.

“The Chairman is keen to push forward with things like the Season Card deal and I think everything is in place to push to the next level, even though the Championship is a tough league.

“Already, I don’t feel like I’m fighting for anything. The attitude here is that if something can make the Club better, we’ll do it. That’s really important.”

Steve also had plenty of praise for what the Academy has achieved at underage level, but is equally mindful of its overall purpose; to consistently produce players for the Club’s First Team.

“Obviously the Under-21s have had a terrific season; to go so many games unbeaten is not easy at any level.

“However, we have to be mindful that there are other tiers in youth football; the category one clubs. Ben Chilwell set the example; he came here and did really well for the First Team. That’s what we’re competing with and the coaches – and recruitment people – have to be mindful of that. We have to make sure that Huddersfield provides enough players so we don’t need to take from the category one clubs.

“It’s brilliant what has been done here, especially the Under-21s. It’s great what has been achieved at that level, but we have to collectively make sure the next players making their debut at 19 are from the Huddersfield Town Academy.”

When it comes to his methods to develop players, Weaver gave an insight into his ideas:

“I’ve always been interested in development. Even when I’ve worked at places at First Team level, my focus has been on developing players. I’ve been doing this for over 20 years now and I have a very clear way of working.

“I’ve been very lucky to work with better people than me; Brian Flynn managed Wales, Dennis Smith managed over 1,000 games and more recently Mick McCarthy and Terry Connor. They are all very development-led and I’ve learned from them. 

“I’m here to develop the players, impact on the coaching structure and to help the coaches develop how they deliver coaching to the players.

“I’ve been lucky enough at my previous clubs to see an awful lot of lads develop and make their debuts and now I want to do the same here.”

Steve also explained that the signature style of play that Head Coach David Wagner has introduced at First Team level gives him ideal parameters to work within.

“I’ve watched Huddersfield Town at First Team level a lot over the last two seasons working as an opposition scout for Ipswich and David (Wagner) has introduced a great style of play, which clarifies the type of footballer we need to play at First Team level. I fully understand how David plays and I have clear guidelines to work to in order to produce the type of player he wants.”

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