Young Terriers suffer at Hartlepool, but back in action on Tuesday
- Town’s Under-17s struggle in Hartlepool United game
- Leigh Bromby says Young Terriers still learning fundamentals
- Youngsters back in action at Burnley on Tuesday
Huddersfield Town’s new-look Under-17 side will look to put a disappointing weekend at Hartlepool behind them when they take on Burnley in the Clarets Cup competition on Tuesday.
The fourth Youth Alliance game of the 2018/19 season ended in disappointment for Academy Manager Leigh Bromby and his young charges as a below-par performance resulted in a 4-0 defeat in the North East.
Bromby isn’t yet focused on league results with his young team, which is a year younger than all opponents in the division, but felt that the players struggled to show their best side – and what they’ve learned in training – throughout the 90 minutes.
“This weekend’s performance wasn’t up to the level and standard that we want,” Leigh told htafc.com.
“From the start of the season, our focus has been on performances and taking what we’re trying to teach in the coaching programme out onto the pitch in games against our opponents. In the three previous Youth Alliance games there have been some great positives to take, but there were not many on Saturday, in truth.
“There was one big learning outcome for the players; that you must match the effort and commitment from the opposition. David Wagner talks a lot about being fearless and playing at 100%, full throttle, and our players struggled on that front against Hartlepool.
“It was the first time that all of our 16-year-olds had experienced a long journey to a game and they didn’t cope well on the whole with making that journey and then being ready to perform. It’s another experience under their belts.”
Town started the game in decent fashion, but conceded from a corner; something Leigh knows could happen as the cohesion of the team still builds.
He continued: “There’s a lot of detail in playing with the ‘Terriers Identity’ that we see from the First Team and we’ve worked on that, but these players are still learning the fundamentals.
“It’s worth remembering that, on the whole, they’ve never been part of a professional Academy before and so don’t have some of the experience under their belts that a previous Under-17 group has, such as communication, covering; even defending corners and movements from throw-ins. This all forms part of our coaching programme and will come through time and work on the training pitches.
“We knew this would be the case, however, and we’re sticking to the plan. Teams like Hartlepool United are effective units, are good at what they do and focus on not making mistakes.
“It would be easy for us to drop some of the older Under-18 players in, who have already learned this, but we want this challenge for our Under-17 players. We’re willing to accept mistakes if the players are trying to take what they’ve learned into games; that’s how you learn.
“We’ll keep working with them and ensure it doesn’t affect their confidence.”
It’ll be a different challenge in Lancashire on Tuesday, when the Young Terriers take on a side of the same age in their first game in Burnley’s ‘Claret Cup’; a league competition that also involves Preston North End, Fleetwood Town, Salford City and Wigan Athletic.
The game kicks off at Burnley’s training ground at 1pm.
“I’m really excited about this competition, as it’ll be a good way to assess the progress of our players against good teams from their own age group,” Leigh explained.
“That will allow us to focus on results more than we do in the Under-18 league, which will be new for the players.”
Town’s team (4-2-3-1)
Giosue Bellagambi; Sam Sharrock-Peplow, Tom Bamford (c), Mustapha Olagunju, George Alfieri; Seth Meeson, Taylor Annakin; Remi Thompson, Josh Austerfield, Andrew Ijiwole (Nassim Kherbouche, 46’); Kian Harratt
Hartlepool United 4-0 Huddersfield Town U17s