EduKick Manchester Visit Huddersfield Town
21st May 2017
Edukick Manchester were delighted to be guests of Huddersfield Town Football Club this week. Huddersfield Town are an English championship club steeped in history. This season the club have had a tremendous season, only this week securing a place in the Championship play offs, which could see them reach the final at Wembley Stadium and a place in the English Premier league. Following investment into the club and bringing in the clubs first foreign head coach, German David Wagner, the club have surpassed all expectation and there is a real buzz around the Yorkshire town.
Edukick Manchester started off their trip to Huddersfield with a tour of the John Smith Stadium, home of the championship club. Rob Day from Huddersfield Town Foundation took the boys on a behind the scene trip showing the wannabe players where the stars of the first team change, getting them pitch side, highlighting the history of the club when just a few years prior they were struggling to survive in the big money game. All the Edukick players got a chance to sit round the board room table where the big money signings and manager sackings take place, taking the seat of where past stars such as Jordan Rhodes and club legend Andy Booth have sat to agree contract terms with the club.
Following the stadium tour Edukick Manchester headed off to the First team training ground, the Canalside sports complex to meet head of the Huddersfield Foundation Dean Grice. Dean showed the players where the first team train and explained how the training ground operates. It was a great atmosphere around the training ground as the first team players mixed with some of the Huddersfield fans to celebrate securing the play off place. A pre match meal was laid on for the Edukick side before a question and answer session with Huddersfield Towns all time legend Andy Booth.
Andy Booth retired from the professional game 8 years ago and is now a club ambassador for Huddersfield Town. Having started his career with Huddersfield as a school boy, local lad Andy went on to play 123 times for the Yorkshire side, scoring 52 goals before a £2.7 million move to Sheffield Wednesday of the premier league at the time. Making 133 appearances for Sheffield Wednesday scoring 28 goals Andy was with the club until 2001, when he had a short loan spell at Tottenham Hotspurs, appearing at White Hart lane for the London side 4 times. However as Huddersfield Town struggled to survive the threat of administration and the pressures of big money football in the UK Andy returned to his hometown club in 2001 to make a further 270 appearance, scoring 85 goals and helping them rebuild the Yorkshire side. In 2009 when he hung up his boots from football, Andy was handed the club ambassadors role as a legend of the side, and today he fronts community, charity and supporters events promoting the good work of the team.
It was a fantastic opportunity to hear what an experienced ex professional had to say, giving the Edukick players sound advice on their own career path. Andy spoke about playing against players such as Ruud Gullit, the pressures of the £2.7 million price tag, how football science has come on in the past years and how he wish maybe he’d listened to some of the nutrition and sports science advice and how the main thing he would tell any up and coming players is to train, work and play everyday session as if it’s the big match. Always push yourself and never relax in training, that’s the only way to progress and get on in football.
Following the fantastic afternoon at the training ground the Edukick players took the short journey to the Leeds road sports ground, soon to be one of Huddersfield Towns training facilities and currently used now by their evening academy sessions, to take on Kirklees College in a friendly fixture. The game, which ended in a 3-3 draw, Edukick Head coach Nigel believes Edukick could have won if a little care had been taken at the back, however the Edukick side dominated the game, scoring three fantastic goals. A performance to be proud of.
Once again a magnificent experience for the Edukick Manchester players to have a first-hand insight into the professional game in the UK. The trip tops off an action packed month of April where Edukick have been to the UK football trials, been coached by numerous Ex Professionals, seen Manchester City in action and have played some top sides from the area.