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ACADEMY PLAYERS WORKING HARD

14 May 2020

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Town’s Young Terriers are following specific development programmes

- Academy Manager Emyr Humphreys discusses current plans for young players
- Young Terriers work physically and mentally at home
- Watch the full interview with Town’s Academy Manager on #HTTV

Huddersfield Town’s Young Terriers continue to work hard at home despite their matches being terminated.

All Academy matches were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Town’s youngsters are using this time to focus on specific parts of their game.

Although the main focus is on player development, Town’s Academy Manager explained he and the other members have staff have been focusing on the youngsters’ welfare during this difficult time.

“I think everyone was expecting the Academy games to get cancelled, so we’d planned for that a long time ago; that didn’t really change much.

“First and foremost, the most important thing during this time is focusing on everyone’s well-being to check they’re safe and their families are safe. It’s obviously a tough time for everyone, especially young people who aren’t used to spending loads of time stuck inside.

“After that it’s about finding the balance between giving them structured work to do and freedom to reflect, be curious, and to spend time with the ball and playing with their family in the back garden and almost connecting with why they fell in love in the first place, which almost gets forgotten sometimes in the relentlessness of football.

“We’ve tried to see it as an opportunity. Each player has their individual development plan that’s specific to them, so they know what their main focus is during this period with no games. That could be getting quicker, stronger, putting on muscle mass and so on.

“The performance staff have done a great job in being there for them, giving them advice, giving them different programmes to challenge them, regular video calls to help with gym sessions and setting up competitions during this time.

“A number of the players have even taken weights home with them from our gym before all this started, as we could see where this was going a few months ago; there’s probably a few parents being fed up with weights being thrown around their living rooms!

“The lads have been really engaged with it, which has been good.”

It’s not only the physical aspect that the youngsters are focusing on at this moment in time. It’s also an opportunity for them to do extra educational work, which plays a key part in their development.

The majority of the lads are still doing education and continuing with their college courses, which is being done online; that education side is really important to us,” said Emyr. “This has been an opportunity for them to do that at home.”

“On top of that there’s been analysis tasks, regular analysis review meetings, where we get the players to watch teams and players from around the world to give them a different look at the game, to inspire them, give them some new ideas.

“Some of the players have been designing their own sessions and have had discussions about why they’ve done that. There’s still loads going on.

“It’s actually a really good time for the players to take some ownership and responsibility for their own development, which will stand them in good stead for the future.”

Watch the full interview with Emyr Humphreys below on #HTTV!


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