Recruitment well underway for Town’s Under-17 side
- Huddersfield Town Academy preparing for 2019/20 campaign
- Long-term strategy to provide players for Town’s First Team
- Recruitment ongoing for Town’s Under-17 side
Recruitment is well underway for the Huddersfield Town Academy as it continues to look for the next set of players to bring through the youth system into the First Team.
At the beginning of the current campaign, Emyr Humphreys rejoined the Club from Manchester United as Head of Academy Recruitment and put key strategies in place to make sure Town recruits the right type of player into the Academy.
Emyr explained what he has been working on since joining the Club and gave detail on the type of players he wants to bring in to the Academy.
“I’m in charge of the recruitment for players aged between 15 and 20, whilst linking in with Josh Marsh (Head of Recruitment) at First Team level.
“The main part of my role is putting together next year’s Under-17 side. We have 14 slots for next season, which will be a mixture of grassroots players, releases from academies and players from Europe.
“I’ve been working on relationships with agents and a network of people to source the best players possible.”
At the start of the current season Town introduced the brand-new Under-17 team, with a number of players coming different parts of the United Kingdom.
During the summer of 2018, Leigh Bromby had to balance being Academy Manager, coaching the Under-17s and recruiting players for the Young Terriers as he awaited the arrival of Emyr.
After a year of working with Town’s Under-17 side, together Leigh and Emyr have detailed what they want the Club’s youngest age group to look like, whilst explaining how it will go on to help the First Team.
“The remit last year was to put a team together, it was a bit of a transition year. We did that, but it was difficult because we knew Emyr could only come in during the summer, because he was still at Manchester United,” explained Bromby.
“It took time for the process to be put in place, but now with Emyr’s strategies, linked with the First Team and the type of player we want, we’ve cast the recruitment net further afield, whilst making sure we have the British quota at First Team level.
“Bringing the lads in at 16 has been a success for us, if you look at Philip Billing, he’s been a great example of that.
“It’s important for the Club long-term getting the players at this age.
“I’ve travelled with Emyr this year to France and other places where he’s building these relationships.
“Since he’s been with us, he’s brought a real detailed process in on how we assess trialists.
“We look at the psychological, the technical and the tactical aspects as well as their home life by meeting their parents.
“We want all the players to fully understand what the expectations are of them if they join Huddersfield Town, so they know if they will be a good fit.
“Some players aren’t the right characters for it and don’t apply themselves enough to make it work, because we have a demanding programme and the games are hard.”
One of the processes introduced by Emyr was to test the potential youngsters in games against good, similarly aged Academy sides.
This happened earlier today (Wednesday 20 February 2019) as an Under-17 Town side, which was mainly made up of trialists, took on Fleetwood Town.
“Games like today are good for that reason because it exposes them to what it might be like next year,” said Emyr.
“There will be times when they get beaten badly, so they’ll have to overcome those challenges and deal with it. It is a challenging programme that we have here and not something most academies would offer.
“All we are looking for in these games are for the players that don’t give up. It’s those traits that we like and the ones that the Town fans like; the ones that give 100% and never give in.
“We aren’t looking for results in these games; we are looking for a psychological response, whilst assessing them technically and tactically.”
Both Leigh and Emyr have been working tirelessly over the course of the year to put together an Under-17 side for the 2019/20 campaign and Emyr explained how well it’s going so far.
“We have six players that are already signed for next season and four that we are negotiating with.
“Last year we had too many similar players, whereas this year we have specifically recruited the European market, elite players from grassroots and those who have been in academies.
“We are hoping that next year we will have the right balance for the team.”
For further updates on Town’s Academy, follow @htafcAcademy on Twitter.