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Club News


21 March 2024

Club News


21 March 2024

Find out more about our Academy Staff this EFL Youth Development Week

- Town are proud to celebrate EFL Youth Development Week
- Week highlights player development in the English Football League
- Find out more about the Town Academy Staff below

With the EFL Youth Development Week taking place between Monday 18 March and Monday 24 March, Town supporters can take a closer look at our Academy Staff and the work they do to bring through the next generation of Terriers!

As this week is the EFL Youth Development Week - in which clubs highlight the crucial role being played by EFL Clubs in creating the next generation of players - Town fans can take the time to get to know the prolific members of staff within our Academy.

Starting with our Head of Academy Jon Worthington, find out more below:

Jon Worthington – Head of Academy

Worthington came through Town’s Academy himself - from 1992 until 2002 - where he made his senior debut and moved up to the First Team, making 213 appearances between 2002 and 2009 before moving to Oldham Athletic. Bringing a wealth of experience to the youngsters after coming through the Academy himself, the former midfielder is an asset to the Club.

After a two-year stint at Halifax FC, Worthy retired from playing at the end of the 2014/15 season and returned to the Huddersfield Town Academy as a physiotherapist.

In June 2019, Worthington was appointed the Club’s new Under-17s Coach and was then promoted to the Under-19s Coach the following year before taking on the additional role of B Team Coach in 2021.

During his time in a managerial role, Worthy has seen the development of current First Team players such as Ben Jackson, Jaheim Headley, Brodie Spencer, Brahima Diarra, alongside ‘keeper Jacob Chapman, who stepped in for Town this season during the absence of both Lee Nicholls and Chris Maxwell.

George Danaher – Head of Academy Coaching


Like Jon Worthington and Oran Thompson, George also came through the Academy with Town before becoming a Coach at a young age.

Danaher spent three years as the Lead Under-17s Coach before going on to spend 18 months as Lead Professional Development Coach for Town’s Under-19s, taking charge of the Academy games during this time.

In December 2023, the 23-year-old was appointed Head of Academy Coaching, helping Jon work with the B Team and consequently stepping up to help during Worthington’s spell as Caretaker Manager of the First Team.

Oran Thompson – Academy Coach

Oran joined Huddersfield Town in the Under-11s category, moved up to captain the Club’s Under-18s side for parts of the 2016/17 season, before being named skipper for the whole 2017/18 campaign.

Thompson then went on loan to Hyde United and also spent time playing senior football at Brighouse Town.

Oran was appointed Academy Coach in July 2020 - working with our Under-19s and B Team - and has since taken on the responsibility of leading the Under-19s games alongside Michael Tonge.


Michael Tonge – Individual Coach

The former Under-21s England International began his coaching career at Huddersfield Town in November 2020, bringing his wealth of playing experience to the Academy to help develop the next generation.

His wealth of experience includes over 250 appearances for Sheffield United, as well as three seasons and over 50 appearances for Leeds United. The former midfielder also spent time at Stoke City, which led to loan spells with Preston North End, Derby County and Barnsley. Later, he went on loan to Millwall from Leeds United.

Having recently joined forces with Oran Thompson, the pair now lead the Under-19s, taking charge in the EFL Youth Alliance League, EFL Youth Alliance League Cup, and the FA Youth Cup games.

Luke Dopson – Lead Physical Performance Coach

Luke Dopson got his Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Sport and Exercise Science in 2013, before going on to study at Leeds Beckett University to receive his Master of Science in Sport and Exercise Physiology in 2016.

Luke then spent six years in South Yorkshire with Barnsley, working his way to become Head of Sports Science in 2018 until 2020, later moving to Sheffield Wednesday as a Physical Performance Coach.

Eventually, Dopson arrived at Huddersfield Town as Head of Academy Physical Performance in 2021, where his role requires him to predominantly lead warm-ups and help rehabilitate players back from injury.

Bradley Rufus – Physical Development & Reconditioning Coach

Brad earned his Bachelor of Science in Sport Rehabilitation at the University of Bradford in 2019, before receiving his Master of Science in Strength and Conditioning at Leeds Beckett University in 2020.

Currently studying his Doctorate of Science in Sports and Exercise at the University of Birmingham, Brad joined Huddersfield Town in an internship role of Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach in October 2020.

In August 2021, Rufus was appointed Physical Performance Coach of the Academy before taking on the role of End Stage Rehab Sport Scientist in June 2022.

Working with the players on the pitch and helping those who go down during games, he then continues to build them back up to full strength.


Lee Mellor – Head of Academy Recruitment

Mellor has been with the Terriers since September 2012, starting as an Academy Sports Scientist/Strength and Conditioning Intern before spending six years as the Academy Sports Scientist (Strength and Conditioning Coach).

He was later appointed Physical Performance Coach in July 2017, before becoming Head of Academy Recruitment in February 2020.

Lee has been involved in the recruitment of Town Scholars - old and new - including recent signings Dan Vost and Danny Isaac.

Joe Wilson – Academy Performance Analyst

Joe spent two years with Town’s Academy as an intern whilst he completed his degree in Sports Coaching.

After finishing university, he moved to Burnley for the first half of this season and worked as an analyst for their First Team before returning to the Academy in a permanent role.

Alongside his position as an analyst, Joe has also started working towards obtaining his coaching badges by undertaking support sessions – guided by Oran Thompson and Michael Tonge.

Adam Powell – Head of Academy Education & Player Care

Since September 2020, Adam Powell has helped provide an education for our younger players - particularly the Scholars - within the Academy.

Not only helping them with their school studies, Powell also organises external presentations and workshops to teach them valuable life lessons.

Also known as the Academy’s designated Safeguarding Officer, Adam is a figure the players can turn to if they have any issues or worries inside of Huddersfield Town - or outside, whilst at home.

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