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Club News


9 November 2016

Wright making great strides in the Huddersfield Town Academy

- Dean Wright named Town's Football Foundation Phase Coach
- Steve Weaver comments on his appointment
- Foundation Phase Coach role explained

Dean Wright was hired as the Club's new Football Foundation Phase Coach in late September and has already made a terrific impact since joining Huddersfield Town. 

Academy Manager, Steve Weaver commented on the role, the impact Wright has made, and how he will help the Academy as a whole moving forwards.

Wright was the first member of staff that Weaver hired since joining the Club himself and he believes that the role he has undertaken has great importance for Town.

"It's one of the most important jobs at the Club because he's the first sight many of our young players will see, the wrong impression can set you back.

"The Foundation Phase Coach is one of the most vital positions in the Academy; if you get it right there over a period of time, you’re not really changing too much when they get to the top end. It's not a massive change."

Because of the importance of the role Weaver took his time, ensuring he brought in the right person for the job and he has been very impressed with Dean from the start.

"When we interviewed him and spoke at length about his work and his visions for development of young players it matched our own ideas. He was very impressive when we spoke to him."

Town’s Foundation Phase Coach had experience in a similar role from his time working with Bury FC and his work with the Shakers had already caught Weaver’s attention.

"I was fully aware of the work he had done at Bury as I've always got an eye on Academies where there's a lot of clubs, especially in the North West where it is very competitive to bring in the best youngsters.

"I always think when you're at a club the size of Bury’s, you've got to be on the front foot, which they were and Dean was a major part of that."

Having worked at Wrexham for over a decade, Weaver fully understood the experiences that Dean Wright had been through and felt that it would only make him stronger in his new position.

"I think from my experience at Wrexham you have to do a lot of things that are maybe not your job but it gives you a great grounding for when you go to the next level.

"All the energy you were using on washing kits and doing different things actually gets channeled into the part of the job that you really love, which is coaching and developing young players. That has been the case with Dean."

No longer washing kits Dean has been able to focus on his specific role and has made his mark on the Academy already, ensuring the coaching standard is at the level expected to develop the young players into potential First Team players.

"What Dean's doing is getting the best kids from West Yorkshire and maybe East Manchester into the building which gives us a real good foundation for years to come.”

Upon Steve Weaver’s appointment he started to take the Academy in a new direction, which enabled him to allow Dean more freedom in making his position at the Club a success as long as his ideas worked alongside the Academy’s overall goal.

"When he came in it was very much a skeleton, it was basically just a blank page for him, but, under the remit of - this is how we play, how we do it and this is how we want to see it implemented; then it was a case for Dean to put his own mark on it after that."

Nearing two full months in charge it is clear that Wright is helping to move the Academy in the right direction and Weaver is very pleased with the progress being made in a role that he felt needed a change.

"I think the foundation phase needed some direction and maybe the Academy needed direction as well.

“Dean has given it that boost; we are just starting to see the fruits of what he is putting in place.

"The early signs are very encouraging, there is a really good feel that's starting to happen with our younger groups and it looks very good at the moment." 

Speaking on his time so far at the Club it is clear that Dean is ready for the challenge and hopes to take the Academy to the next level.

"Everyone I’ve worked with has been really good and friendly; I've enjoyed it. There's a lot of potential here and I'm excited about getting going."

Having a similar view on the development of players and the Academy itself is something that both Weaver and Wright agree upon and Dean believes this is the perfect time for him to take on this challenge.

"I spend a lot of time with the other staff talking about football and coaching, the way we want to do things and where we want to get to with the academy and we all seem to be on the same page.

"It has come at a really good time for me and I feel equipped to take on the challenge here and deliver."

However, the Foundation Phase role is about more than just what happens on the pitch, as the behaviour and character of the young players is just as important at the Huddersfield Town Academy and that's something Wright is well aware of.

"My job is to give them that foundation on the football side but also as young people and how we want them to behave and conduct themselves.

“When we pass them on at Under 13s level we want them to have all the necessary tools to go on and be a footballer.”

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