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Club News


22 July 2021

Club News


22 July 2021

First-year scholar on his opening week as a Young Terrier

- A first interview with new scholar Fopefoluwa Deru
- Winger describes his first week at Huddersfield Town
- Under-17s host Blackpool at Canalside on Saturday

As first weeks at a new club go, Under-17 winger Fopefoluwa Deru’s has been pretty good!

The 16-year-old is one of Town’s newest recruits, starting his two-year scholarship in the 2021/22 campaign, and joined his new teammates at Canalside for the first time on 12 July.

It took him just six days to register his first goal in the famous blue and white stripes, coming in their first game against an older Bradford City side containing two Under-19 players last weekend.

“I’ve never signed at an Academy before, but I feel like being on trial at a couple of other clubs has helped me,” explained Fope.

“The intensity in training has been a toll on my body. I’m only used to training two or three times a week, but here we are putting in the work every single day. It’s good though!”

Living away from home is as big a challenge for the youngsters as the work on the training pitch. This is Fope’s first move away from his West London home, as he makes Rishworth College his second home alongside his colleagues.

He continued: “It’s my first time (away from home) and so far, it’s not been too bad actually! I’m not too homesick, as I’ve been contacting my family every single day through Facetime and phone calls.

“My teammates are all good, and it’s quite a family community. Because everyone is going through the same experience, we can help each other as teammates and as friends as well. We’ve gained some good bonds, which helps us on and off the pitch.”

Having met for the first time just five days earlier, the Young Terriers understandably found the game against the Bantams a challenge. They improved through the 90 minutes, however, and drew the second half – with Deru scoring Town’s goal!

“It was a good feeling to score. Obviously, the result wasn’t what we wanted, but I felt we grew into the game as a team. For the first 20 minutes we weren’t really getting the ball, but as the game progressed, we got into it, got on the ball, and created more opportunities.

“We’ve trained and analysed what we’ve done to improve. We’re working on our press and how we want to play – the Huddersfield style – and now we want to put that into the game against Blackpool.

“I prefer having a lot of games! You can do a lot in training, but then you have to implement it in games. That’s how you improve.”

Now Fopefoluwa has the chance to showcase that improvement against Blackpool at Canalside on Saturday, with an 11am kick-off behind-closed-doors. In due course, he cannot wait to show Town fans what he’s capable of!

“I like to get the ball to feet and beat my man. I love being one-on-one and running in behind to switch it up a bit. I’ve been working on my shooting with my left foot and right foot too, as it would be good to get in on the goals too.”

You can follow all the latest Academy news on our dedicated Twitter account, @htafcacademy!

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