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BROMBY: U17S ‘ROSE TO JOHN SMITH’S STADIUM OCCASION’

4 October 2018

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Academy Manager happy with Clarets Cup performance

- Leigh Bromby discusses Under-17s’ win over Preston North End
- Academy Manager says Clarets Cup is serving an important purpose
- Next game for Young Terriers is at Port Vale on Saturday

Academy Manager Leigh Bromby praised Town’s Under-17 players for rising to the occasion of playing at the John Smith’s Stadium for the first time on Wednesday morning.

The Young Terriers played well in defeating their age counterparts from Preston North End in the Clarets Cup competition, showcasing their current work on the ‘Deep Fight Zone’ in the process.

“Yesterday was an improvement on Saturday’s game (against Chesterfield), which is what we’re looking for,” Bromby told htafc.com.

“Their understanding of the system is getting a lot better, as are the basics of football. That was always going to happen as they spend more time here, but they’ve really come on. I’m talking about positional play when defending and when they must take the decision to clear a ball as opposed to playing out.

“As I’ve said before, the Clarets Cup – as an Under-17 tournament – serves a real purpose for us. We focus on winning against opponents of the same age as it gives them belief and confidence that what we are doing together works.

“Yesterday was a tick in that box, particularly on an exciting day for the squad as they played at the John Smith’s Stadium for the first time.”

Leigh was pleased the collective effort from his youngsters, as well as the performance of several individuals.

“I always look at effort and application first and every player gave 100% yesterday, so credit to them all. What 100% looks like is getting better and better as their fitness improves and they get used to the level of professionalism that is needed here, on and off the pitch. They understand the importance of diet and rest more and more, for example.

“I look at individuals too, of course. For instance, we had a 16-year-old goalkeeper in Giosue Bellagambi step up to the occasion yesterday and put in his best performance for us on his Stadium debut. That’s what I want lads to do; to rise to the occasion.”

The Under-17s are back to the challenge of taking on older teams on Saturday when they face Port Vale’s Under-18 side in the latest game of the Youth Alliance Cup. The game kicks-off at 11.30am on the training pitches near Vale Park.

Leigh added: “We must continue to improve. We’re working in the classroom a lot on the detail of our system, but now they face a big challenge in trying to take this onto the pitch against an older Port Vale team this weekend.”

Ahead of taking over the Under-17 side on a full-time basis in the New Year, Dean Whitehead is now combining his work with David Wagner’s First Team with getting to know his soon-to-be squad.

“Deano was at the game yesterday and he’s starting to get more involved with the squad already, as his First Team work allows,” Leigh explained.

“He’s lived and breathed the ‘Terriers Identity’ under our Head Coach and I’m sure he will add even more detail to our coaching programme. I’m looking forward to him coming in permanently in January; it’ll be great for the players.”


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