Goalkeeper speaks about last 12 months
- Nicholas Bilokapic discusses his first full season at Town
- Goalkeeper enjoying his development with Town’s Academy
- Young Terriers are back in action on Wednesday 14 April 2021
Huddersfield Town Under-19 goalkeeper Nicholas Bilokapic is pleased with what he’s achieved in his first full season with the Young Terriers.
Bilokapic joined Town’s Academy in February 2020 on a two-year scholarship and admitted that the current campaign has had its ups and downs.
“This season has been kind of tricky for me as it’s my first season away from home and my first time as a professional footballer.
“I found it difficult over the Christmas period when it was snowing and it was cold outside and I just didn’t want to get out of bed and come into training every day and give the same energy every day.
“So I did find it difficult at times, but this season’s been a wake-up call for me as well, being away from my family has given me that mental strength and made me grow up a lot earlier than I would have expected to.
“I feel like I’m becoming a man now and it’s all slowly falling into place.”
The 18-year-old was quick to comment on his development over the last 12 months.
“I think I’ve improved a lot and in a very positive way.
“I’ve focused on a lot of key aspects of my game.
“Back home we didn’t really get the sort of training that we get here, we were only in three nights a week after school and so coming into this environment and being here full time was a big change.
“Paul Clements and Neil Bennett have really helped me work on all my little minor adjustments, that's been really beneficial.
“I’m a tall ‘keeper and they’ve worked hard with me to get rid of my bad habits. I used to start really low in the goal and so at the start of the season I was being beaten in the upper part of the goal, so they forced me to change that and make my game better.
“Like I said before, I went through a rough patch about being away from home, but I think now that I’m getting past that my game’s excelling at high speeds.”
The youngster went on to discuss the benefit of competing with Jacob Chapman, Giosue Bellagambi and Michael Roxburgh for that the Academy’s number one spot.
“I think it’s class having that competition there.
“Coming in every day and training with the likes of Michael Roxburgh, Giosue Bellagambi and Jacob Chapman, we’re all pushing for that number three/four spot with the First Team.
“It brings a good nature to the training session because without that competitive drive I don’t think it’d push us all enough, so being able to train with good goalkeepers week in week out and day in day out is really good.”
The keeper also took the time to reflect on what he wants to achieve next.
“I want to keep competing with the young ‘keepers to push for that number three/four spot and constantly train with the First Team.
“I also want to keep kicking on the door for the Australian team and the Croatian team hopefully, so we’ll see how that goes!”
The Young Terriers are back in action on Wednesday afternoon, when they host Blackpool at Canalside. You can follow live match updates on Town’s official Academy Twitter; @htafcacademy.