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OVER 200 NON-LEAGUE STARTS FOR ACADEMY PLAYERS IN 2019/20

14 June 2020

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Young Terriers reaping the benefits of senior experience

- Huddersfield Town Academy players gained experience in non-league football
- Young Terriers made a cumulative 300 appearances in lower divisions
- Find out why this is so important to the Academy’s development strategy

The 2019/20 non-league season may have ended early due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has been a campaign that meant a lot to the development of many of Huddersfield Town’s Academy players.

By the time the season was put on hold in mid-March, 24 Young Terriers had made over 200 cumulative starts across the non-league pyramid, and almost 300 appearances in total, as many gained a first taste of senior men’s football.

“When we decided to restructure the Academy in September 2017, we thought carefully about the different experiences our players need to prepare themselves for our First Team, and careers in football in general,” Head of Football Operations Leigh Bromby explained.

“Our Under-19, and particularly our Elite Development Team games, are often designed to test the technical and tactical ability of our young players. We’ve done that through the games programme, with matches against the likes of Bayern Munich, Sevilla and other top-level teams in England and Europe.

“However, we also recognise that it is hard to replicate the rigours of senior men’s football in these games, and the reality of the challenges and environment you experience. That’s why we decided that loans into targeted clubs could play a huge role.”

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Since that decision was taken, loan spells have been commonplace for Academy players who were prepared and ready for that challenge.

Lewis O’Brien is the prime example, having excelled in his first loan spell at Bradford City in Sky Bet League 1 last season before going on to establish himself in Town’s starting XI this year. However, loan spells into league football are often hard to broker for inexperienced youngsters, and non-league must be the first step.

To help with this process, David Fox joined the Club’s Academy as Loan Manager, which sees him develop relationships with clubs to allow more loan moves, and more importantly the right loan moves, become available to Town’s youngsters.

“The first loan spell is something that the young players can take a lot out of,” said David.

“It’s not just about the game time, it’s the whole process of playing under a new manager, playing for points, with and against men, with a crowd; there’s so many new experiences for the young lads to get used to.

“The loan process here is really important for development of our young players. As soon as they’re mentally and physically capable, we want to test the young players and expose them to the rigours of men’s football. It gives them an invaluable experience, no matter the level they’re playing in.

“My role is to build on the good relationships that Huddersfield Town has with loan clubs and ultimately to build new relationships with clubs so we can offer the youngsters more good opportunities.”

Before the non-league season was cancelled, 24 different Academy players made over 200 senior starts – many getting their first taste of senior football.

One example is defender Rarmani Edmonds-Green. Having dropped down to Brighouse Town to get his first taste of senior experience last season, he moved again to Bromley early in the season before being recalled and making his first Town start in the win over Charlton Athletic at the Valley in December.

Another name familiar to Town fans will be Demeaco Duhaney; another Young Terrier who has made a smattering of First Team appearances for Town so far. He’s supplemented his experience with a successful loan spell at Boston United.

Further down the line, some of their younger teammates have experienced a first taste of senior football altogether. 18-year-old Nassim Kherbouche spent a short time at Emley, whilst Jaheim Headley has played for both Bradford (Park Avenue) and Hyde.

Ask the players, and they clearly got a lot from their collective experiences:

Here are full details of the loan class of 2019/20, including some youngsters who have been on loan at league clubs:

Ben Jackson
Left back, 19

Stockport County, Vanarama National League (tier five)
12 starts and 14 substitute appearances – 1 goal

Romoney Crichlow-Noble
Centre back, 20

Hartlepool United, Vanarama National League (tier five)
2 starts and 2 substitute appearances

Welling United, Vanarama National League South (tier six)
6 starts – 1 goal

Rekeil Pyke
Winger/Striker, 22

Rochdale, Sky Bet League 1 (tier three)
15 starts and 5 substitute appearances – 3 goals

Isaac Marriott
Central midfielder, 20

Bradford (Park Avenue), Vanarama National League North (tier six)
22 starts and 3 substitute appearances

Warrington Town, BetVictor Northern Premier League (tier seven)
1 start and 2 substitute appearances

Jaheim Headley
Left back/winger, 18

Bradford (Park Avenue), Vanarama National League North (tier six)
4 starts and 1 substitute appearance – 1 goal

Hyde United, BetVictor Northern Premier League (tier seven)
4 starts

Olly Dyson
Winger/striker, 20

Barrow, Vanarama National League (tier five)
16 starts and 17 substitute appearances – 4 goals

Darnell Mintus
Striker, 18

Brighouse Town, BetVictor Northern Premier League North (tier eight)
2 starts and 6 substitute appearances – 1 goal

Emley, North West Counties Football League Division One North (tier 10)
1 substitute appearance

Tim Akinola
Central midfielder, 18

Brighouse Town, BetVictor Northern Premier League North (tier eight)
5 starts and 2 substitute appearances

Josh Austerfield
Central midfielder, 18

Brighouse Town, BetVictor Northern Premier League North (tier eight)
1 substitute appearance

Dom Tear
Winger, 20

Gateshead, Vanarama National League North (tier six)
20 starts and 9 substitute appearances – five goals

Luke Mewitt
Goalkeeper, 20

Hyde United, BetVictor Northern Premier League (tier seven)
27 starts

Oran Thompson
Centre back, 19

Hyde United, BetVictor Northern Premier League (tier seven)
11 starts and 1 substitute appearance – 1 goal

Andrew Ijiwole
Winger, 18

Ossett United, BetVictor Northern Premier League North (tier eight)
7 starts and 3 substitute appearances

Jacob Chapman
Goalkeeper, 19

Ossett United, BetVictor Northern Premier League North (tier eight)
3 starts

Scott Maloney
Goalkeeper, 19

Ossett United, BetVictor Northern Premier League North (tier eight)
4 starts

Harrison Davison-Hale
Goalkeeper, 19

Liversedge, Toolstation Northern Counties East Football League Premier Division (tier nine)
1 start

Demeaco Duhaney
Right back, 21

Boston United, Vanarama National League North (tier six)
7 starts

Aaron Rowe
Winger, 19

Boston United, Vanarama National League North (tier six)
1 start and 1 substitute appearance

Bromley, Vanarama National League (tier five)
2 substitute appearances

Rarmani Edmonds-Green
Centre back, 21

Bromley, Vanarama National League (tier five)
5 starts and 4 substitute appearances

Swindon Town, Sky Bet League 2 (tier four)
9 starts – 1 goal

Scott High
Central midfielder, 19

Concord Rangers, Vanarama National League South (tier six)
7 starts and 1 substitute appearance – 1 goal

Kit Elliott
Striker, 19

Concord Rangers, Vanarama National League South (tier six)
14 starts and 9 substitute appearance – 5 goals

Mustapha Olagunju
Centre back, 18

Tadcaster Albion, BetVictor Northern Premier League North (tier eight)
2 starts

Kian Harratt
Striker, 17

Harrogate Town, Vanarama National League (tier five)
3 starts and 4 substitute appearances – 1 goal

Nassim Kherbouche
Centre back, 18

Emley, North West Counties Football League Division One North (tier 10)
2 starts and 1 substitute appearance

Follow @htafcAcademy on Twitter for more updates on Town's Young Terriers!


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