17-year-old collects top Academy award
- Pat Jones wins the Antoni's Memorial Trophy
- Winger made his First Team debut in January 2021
- Comments from Academy Manager Emyr Humphreys
Winger Pat Jones has won the Antoni’s Memorial Academy Player of the Year trophy for the 2020/21 season!
Pat has had an impressive 2020/21 season, which saw him make his senior Town and Championship debut in January 2021.
The 17-year-old joined Town’s Academy from Wrexham in September 2019 following a one-week trial. Once his international clearance was received, he immediately netted three goals in his first five appearances for Town’s Under-17s, which led him to him earning three games with the older EDT and Under-19 squads.
The start of the 2020/21 season saw the introduction of the B Team, in which Pat has been an influential figure, scoring three goals in nine appearances. He’s also scored a further seven goals in 12 appearances across the younger Academy squads.
One of these was in the Young Terriers’ FA Youth Cup game against Newcastle United at the John Smith’s Stadium back in December 2020, when Jones unleashed a powerful effort towards goal to put Town ahead. Unfortunately, Jon Worthington’s side were edged by Newcastle when it came to penalties, but Jones’ impressive performance recaught the eye of Carlos Corberán.
Having already been involved in the First Team’s pre-season friendly against Manchester United’s Under-23 in August 2020, the Welshman was named on the bench for their game against Watford just four days after the FA Youth Cup.
He went on to make his senior Town debut against Plymouth Argyle in the FA Cup on Saturday 9 January 2021. His Championship debut followed just a week later, when he came on as a 62nd minute substitute for Rolando Aarons against Watford.
This was followed by two more inclusions in the First Team’s match day squad – as a 78th minute substitute against Millwall and as an unused substitute against Stoke City.
His performance in the FA Youth Cup also saw him become the first Under-19 player to be sponsored for the 2020/21 season after SGi Consulting Engineers showed him their support and decided to back him for the remaining campaign.
March 2021 saw the winger receive his first Wales Under-18s call-up for their game against England’s Under-18s. Unfortunately, he had to pull out due to injury.
The youngster’s hamstring injury prevented him from seeing out the end of the season with the Young Terriers, however, he agreed a new deal with the Club back in October 2020 that secures him to Town until the summer of 2022, at which point the Club has the option of a further year’s extension – so there’s still plenty to come!
Pat follows in the footsteps of Tom Clarke (2005), Alex Smithies (2009), Duane Holmes (2013), and two-time winner Lewis O'Brien in winning the award.
The trophy is named in honour of Antoni Owczarek, a young Town fan who tragically lost his life in a car accident in 2004.
When the pandemic lockdown eases, the Kaminski family have been invited to Canalside to present Pat with the trophy.
Huddersfield Town’s Academy Manager Emyr Humphreys commented:
“Patrick thoroughly deserves this award for all his hard work this season.
“He’s a prime example of the way we want our Academy players to conduct themselves and the fact that he’s made his First Team debut as a 17-year-old is a huge credit to him and the work he has put in since joining the Club.
“Pat’s accomplished so much in the last 12 months, culminating in achieving his goal of making his professional and Championship debuts. He’s also had to face some frustrating setbacks with the injuries he’s had. Pat has handled each of these experiences with the same level of humility and consistency, which is the main reason he is so deserving of this accolade.
“Pat is beyond his years in the level of curiosity and determination he demonstrates on a daily basis in order to keep improving. He is a great example to all of the Academy players both on and off the pitch and we’re all really excited to see what he can achieve next season.”