Leigh Bromby reviews the benefits of the Clarets Cup
- Town’s Under-17s knocked out of Clarets Cup at Semi-Final stage
- Kian Harratt on the scoresheet again for the Young Terriers
- Academy Manager explains how tournament experience will help the youngsters
Huddersfield Town’s Academy Manager Leigh Bromby believes the Under-17s’ experience in the Clarets Cup has been invaluable.
The Young Terriers progressed through to the Semi-Final of the competition before being beaten by 3-1 by Fleetwood Town on Saturday.
Since the start of the campaign, Town’s youngsters had been tasked with trying to win the competition, but a strong performance from the Cod Army’s youngsters condemned Town to defeat.
“It was a tough game. We knew, going into the match, that Fleetwood was the best Under-17s team that we played in the tournament,” admitted Bromby.
“It was a difficult game. I thought Fleetwood definitely deserved to win and had more chances, but we fought well in the second half to get it back to 2-1. We could’ve possibly got it to penalties, but never really looked like winning the game.
“It’s a shame to get knocked out in the Semi-Finals but it was another good test for them.
“It was an enjoyable tournament and a great experience for the players.”
The tournament was set-up for Under-17 teams, however, there was an option to play three overage players; something that wasn’t used by Bromby or his coaching staff.
“We played it as an Under-17 tournament and it’s been really valuable for us. It’s something that we will definitely look at doing again next year.
“This competition has been a real confidence-booster for the young lads, and as we progressed, we challenged the youngsters even more, to provide them with a bit of pressure, to see how they would react.
“It was a great experience and a good game because the lads will have learnt loads from it.”
Not only did the Young Terriers have to deal with pressure being added to them; they also had to adapt to their surroundings.
“We went over to Fleetwood and the game was called off on the grass, but we managed to play it on the astro, which they had to adjust to,” explained Leigh.
“Usually, if that was the case we would’ve just come home, but we threw them into that experience because we wanted to play the game.
“The build-up to the match was focused on winning the game as well, which was a new experience for them.”
After performing well in the tournament and with the benefits clear for both the players and coaching staff to see, Bromby is keen for the Academy to take part in it again next season.
“For me, next year, we have to have a focus on going into these kinds of tournaments and being focused on trying to win.
“It’s a different experience to the league fixtures because it’s a knock-out and there’s that bit of pressure added.
“The way Fleetwood approached the game was with real aggression and wanting to win, which was fantastic because that’s exactly the experience I wanted our players to be exposed against.
“On top of that, the way we presented our ideas and the way our coaches went about it pre-match and at half-time, was exactly the way coaches would go about it at First Team level or at EDT level, where you want to win the games.
“We are really clear on what we get from these games and what we want from them.”
The development of the Young Terriers since they came to the Club is evident for Town’s Academy Manager to see, with a number of them currently part of the Club’s Under-19s squad in Spain.
“We’ve now moved on from that game and a lot of them have travelled with Dean Whitehead’s Under-19s and have played against Real Betis, so it shows how far they’ve come but also how playing in the competition has benefitted some of the players as they are moving up.”
You can follow updates from Town’s Academy sides on Twitter at @htafcAcademy.
Town's Under-17 side vs Fleetwood Town
Giosue Bellagambi; Mustapha Olagunju, Tom Bamford (c), Nassim Kherbouche; Sam Sharrock-Peplow (George Alfieri), Seth Meeson (Darnell Mintus), Tom Bell, Mohammed Diaby; Remi Thompson, Kian Harratt, Jaheim Headley (Andrew Ijiwole)