The next step in transitioning players from the Academy to the First Team
- Huddersfield Town launches B Team in place of EDT side
- B Team will train with Huddersfield Town’s First Team squad
- Comments from Academy Manager Emyr Humphreys
Huddersfield Town is delighted to introduce its B Team, which aims to help young players with the transition from the Academy into the First Team.
Huddersfield Town B, which will replace the Elite Development Team, will see Town’s talented young players gain much more time around the First Team staff, players and importantly the new Head Coach, Carlos Corberán.
Evolution – not revolution
Although the 2019/20 season was a tough one for the Club, one of the genuine plus-points was the Club’s Academy, with 11 Young Terriers gaining minutes in the First Team and 14 youngsters appearing in Town’s match day squad.
Over the course of that campaign, Academy players featured in the First Team for 5,710 minutes in league fixtures, cup games and First Team friendlies, which means that 12% of minutes played through the season were by Academy players and graduates.
This is not another huge change to the Town Academy, and the Under-19 and Under-17 teams formed in September 2017 will continue.
The creation of Town’s B Team is viewed as the next step for the new-look Huddersfield Town Academy.
How is the B Team different to the Elite Development Team?
The B Team will be a step forward from the old EDT in several ways.
The first, and perhaps most important change, is the closeness that the B Team will have with the First Team. The squads will train alongside each other at Canalside day-by-day, ensuring that the young players have a full understanding of the senior squad’s methods and playing style.
If they are good enough to make the step up, the familiarity with the training, personnel and requirements of Carlos and his staff should make the transition easier.
The games programme will also be a step up from the previous EDT side. Huddersfield Town B will play in a mix of competitions like the Premier League Cup, take on high-level European opposition when it is safe to do so, face senior sides from lower divisions in stadia and play other games tailored to aid the players’ development.
Although it is always hard to exactly replicate the environment of a First Team game, there will be pressure to perform in these matches.
It is expected that First Team players not featuring in Sky Bet Championship games will also play for the B Team, which should help the young players understand the levels they have to aspire to.
This will be a step-up from Academy football as the youngsters will be working closely with First Team staff, including coaches and sports science staff, and First Team players.
Who will lead Huddersfield Town B?
Danny Schofield, who worked with Carlos at Leeds United, will lead the B Team.
He will work with both First Team and Academy technical staff on a day-to-day basis.
Will the B Team replace the need for loan spells?
Not completely, but it will give Town’s coaches and players another strong option in a young player’s development.
When the time is right for the individual player, a loan may still have big benefits. For example, it is hard to replicate the experience that 18-year-old striker Kian Harratt is currently gaining through an impending trip to Wembley with loan club Harrogate Town for a Play-Off Final.
However, we would back that the level of coaching we can provide our youngsters with in-house through the B Team’s work with Carlos and the First Team staff, as well as specialist Academy coaches, combined with the new games programme, will be hard to replicate elsewhere.
Academy Manager Emyr Humphreys:
“We are really excited about introducing Huddersfield Town B; it will provide our top young players with a fantastic experience and help with their transition into the First Team.
“As an Academy we are proud of what we’ve achieved over the last 12 months in terms of the number of players who have gained minutes or been in the match day squad of the First Team, but it can’t just stop there. Once you’ve made your debut, you must keep developing and keep impressing to become a First Team player.
“By introducing Huddersfield Town B, our youngsters will be closer to the First Team than ever before and will see day-in-day-out what it takes to start regularly for this club.
“It also provides a real alignment and insight for them, so when they’re called upon by Carlos, they will know exactly what to do in sessions and what’s expected from them in games.
“We believe that our Academy model can really benefit Huddersfield Town in the long-term and we want to become one of the best Academy’s in the country with the transition to the First Team.
“Huddersfield Town B is the best way to give the young players the best possible training, alongside matches against top opposition.”
Head of Football Operations Leigh Bromby:
“As we’ve discussed a lot recently, we have a commitment at this Club to develop our own players who are good enough to thrive for our First Team in the Sky Bet Championship.
“Lots of clubs talk about that, but it takes a genuine commitment in culture at a Club, and a commitment in the way you work daily, to make it work.
“I believe the changes we have made in the Academy in the last two and a half years have been a real success through a tough period for the Club and the creation of Huddersfield Town B is the next step in this process.
“The closeness of the B Team to the First Team has only been made possible by having the complete buy-in from the Chairman, the Board, the Head Coach and every single member of staff. We must have a desire to work to develop footballers, in order to give them every chance of being successful.
“Academy players played almost 6,000 minutes for the First Team last season and we are determined to build on that. Our goal is to become one of the best clubs at transitioning young players to the First Team and I believe that this change will help us become one of the leaders on that front.”