Town youngsters work on individual objectives during the match
- Town U19s hosted Marquette University on Saturday
- Goals from Mason O’Malley and Micah Obiero
- Comments from Under-19 Coach Dean Whitehead
Despite being beaten 3-2 by Marquette University, Huddersfield Town’s Under-19 players can still take a lot out of their most recent game on Saturday.
When looking at fixture creation for the U19/EDT bespoke games programme, Town’s coaches look at matches that focus on performance, development or objectives.
The performance games are those that test the Young Terriers against European elite like Bayern Munich, with the youngsters being tasked to win the game.
For the development games, the youngsters have to come up with their own game plan and then put that into practice.
Whereas the objective games, like the one against Marquette University at the weekend, are assigned to help the youngsters work on specific parts of their game in certain situations.
When preparing for the game against Marquette University, Under-19 Coach Dean Whitehead and his team set three or four specific targets for each player to achieve, to help improve their overall game.
The targets are put in place to help the Young Terriers develop specific parts of their game and to become more comfortable trying new things within a game situation.
The benefits of these targets were evident in both of Town’s goals.
“The second goal was really good and exactly what we wanted from the young players. It was a real team goal,” explained Whitehead.
“The move started with Dahomey (Raymond) who was tasked with trying to play the ball forwards to the number eight in our system, instead of passing it sideways or backwards and feeling comfortable.
“He played the ball forward to Jaheim (Headley), who was playing in the eight role. We wanted Jaheim, even though he was in the eight, to be slightly wider, so he created more space before tasking him to be more creative with the ball.
“Jaheim took up the position really nicely and then slipped the ball through to Micah Obiero who scored.
“That made the goal even better because we’d asked Micah to start running in behind more to help stretch the game.
“Mason O’Malley also hit some of his targets when scoring the first goal. We asked him to be in a different position, higher up the pitch and further inside and he scored from being in that kind of position.”
Not only was the game beneficial to help develop the youngsters, it also tested them against a different, good opposition in difficult conditions.
“The conditions that both teams had to deal with were really tough. The wind was horrendous!
“Saying that, I thought both teams adapted to them well and really applied themselves during the game.
“Marquette has a number of good individual players and have played a lot over the last week against some good sides.
“It was a good test for us, in terms of getting used to their style, playing against players that were up to the age of 21 and dealing with the difficult weather conditions.”
Alongside these benefits, centre-back Nassim Kherbouche made his first appearance for the Under-19s, whilst a number of Under-17s also got further appearances for the higher age group.
Town’s U19 team vs Marquette University (3-4-1-2)
Gabriel Rosario, Oran Thompson (c) (Mustapha Olagunju, 60’), Jake Barrett (Tom Bamford, 60’), Jordan Eli (Nassim Kherbouche, 60’); Mason O’Malley, Dahomey Raymond, Tim Akinola, Sam Gibson (Scott High, 60’); Jaheim Headley (Josh Austerfield, 60’); Micah Obiero, Kian Harratt
Huddersfield Town Under-19s 2-3 Marquette University
Mason O’Malley, Micah Obiero