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Hello! Welcome to the first issue, hopefully of many, of the newest football magazine in town, Folk and Football. We’re producing a magazine for you, the football fans who love Yorkshire football and love your team, whether you’re: Leeds United Barnsley Rotherham United
Sheffield United Sheffield Wednesday Huddersfield Town Hull City Bradford City Chesterfield
We’re here to cater for football specifically in Yorkshire. There’s a real gap in the market, and the national football magazines constantly overlook the great football and clubs that are situated in this great county. Hopefully that’s where we come in. You’ll also be noticing you’re holding this magazine in A5 format. Football magazines are quite simply, a great effort for the everyday football fan to carry around. But you’ll always see a football fan with a fanzine or programme, exactly this size, so hopefully you’ll enjoy the handheld, pocket-sized alternative to football magazines! Inside this first, debut issue we’ve got an array of football issues from around Yorkshire. There’s an insight into Huddersfield keeper Alex Smithies and how he’s set for the big time, a look at Bradford Park Avenue in our section where we look at non-league teams in focus, and of course, there’s the questions and points you’re raising in ‘Talk from the terraces’. If you’re interested in getting in touch with us, whether it’s to suggest an article, feature, or simply to get your views in TFTT, e-mail us, we’re happy to listen! Regards, The FAF lads.
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Matthew Scott investigates just how much Owls and Blades fans will suffer this season without the appearance of the Steel City derby. Is it the be all and end all, or is it much ado about nothing?
4 | Love is Lost? A deeper look into the views of Steel City fans who are preparing for another derbyless season COVER STORY 10 | Marching up Together Are Leeds on the cusp of a revival to the big time? Ben Smith investigates
13 | One night in Bury Aaron Bower spends a night at Gigg Lane with Bradford’s loyal travelling army and asks.. why so many? 18 | Men around Town Sam Cale looks at the future for Huddersfield, and whether a bright one is solely dependent on promotion this year
7 | Talk from the terraces You raise the points about the hot topics in Yorkshire’s football scene 8 | Club Call A look at one of Yorkshire’s non-league clubs, giving them the spotlight for an issue
16 | Moments in time One famous year for a Yorkshire team from down the years, any suggestions for famous years? Let us know! 20 | New kid on the block A regular profile on one of Yorkshire’s hottest prospects in football
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‘You can’t dine out on one result for the rest of your life – it’ll always be remembered but you’re only as good as your last game.’ Games of this magnitude are so eagerly anticipated that the build up can begin months in advance. Derby days are, more often than not, the biggest day in the supporters calendar. The press coverage, online and on the local news channels, given to them is second to none. Pubs are flooded with talk of anything and everything to do with the derby. Even managers and players get in on the hype, releasing statements to provoke a reaction. Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday fans are being forced to endure their first ‘derbyless’ season in three years, after the final day of last season saw Wednesday relegated to League One. The last time this occurred was when Sheffield United managed to reach the dizzy heights of the Premier League in the 2006/07 season, however they failed in their fight against instant relegation. The last 10 Steel City derbies, dating back to the 2002/03 season, are on a level pegging. Both sides have 4 wins and 2 draws to their name. Even more coincidently, they both have a league double over each other, United in 2005/06 and, more recently, 4 | Folk and Football
Wednesday in 2008/09. This season, the glaring omission of the derby game on both clubs fixture list will frustrate the players and fans alike. Kelly Spencer, avid Sheffield Wednesday fan and PR officer believes, ‘The derby means everything – for some, the only result that matters during the season.’ Mark Woollas, passionate Sheffield United fan and media department employee, simply describes the city turning into, ‘A sea of red and white and blue and white, filled with fierce rivalry.’ Mark thinks the blow for United has been softened slightly because, ‘Blades fans still have derby clashes against Leeds, Barnsley, Doncaster and Hull to look forward to this season.’ On the other hand, Kelly feels that, ‘the pre-match excitement and banter with pals who support Wednesday’, will be sorely missed. Thankfully, from the supporter’s point of view, all hope of a meeting between the sides is not lost. The FA Cup is now in full swing and there is a chance the
BATTLE: Tommy Spurr and Kyle Walker battle for a ball
two clubs could yet come face to face this season. Mark simply stated that, ‘If the Owls get to the third round then it could be a possibility.’ Kelly’s responded by saying, ‘You just
would have a great chance of beating United home or away’. She goes on to echo the old derby cliché, ‘the form book goes out the window’, when she said,
“the pre-match excitement and banter with pals who support Wednesday will be sorely missed” never know but I get a feeling that it would be the game of the season if it happened. Obviously drawing one of the big Premier League clubs away, getting a draw and bringing them back to Hillsborough would be incredible, certainly from a financial point of view.’ Mark, reiterating part of Kelly’s statement, said, ‘There will be sections of supporters from both clubs wanting to play each other, whilst others will no doubt be hoping for a Manchester United or Arsenal away.’ Kelly, personally, is keeping her fingers crossed for an FA cup meeting between the sides, ‘I think Wednesday 5 | Folk and Football
‘Regardless of their current form, players tend to get that extra 20% for the derby games and the FA Cup would be no exception.’ The derby could make a return to the fixture list next season if United fail to win promotion to the Premier League and Wednesday manage to gain promotion from League One, returning to the Championship. Currently, Sheffield United sit a disappointing 19th in the Coca Cola Championship. Many had tipped the Bramall Lane outfit for promotion this season but, with newly appointed manager Gary Speed still finding his feet, it’s
been a slow start to the season for Blades fans. Mark, however, still ‘harbours realistic hopes of pushing for a top six spot in the Championship.’ Whereas, Kelly ‘can’t see SUFC being promoted this season.’ After being relegated last season, Sheffield Wednesday, led by Alan Irvine, are expected to bounce back and win promotion with some ease. At present they are 9th in the Coca Cola League One table, only two points adrift of the play-off places. Kelly believes, ‘we can do it; we really need to start performing at home. You have to win your home games at the very least to expect to be in and around the play off places at the end of the season.’ Mark, doubtfully , said, ‘‘Wednesday have plenty of competition to overcome to win promotion from League
One.’ Derbies are an essential part of the footballing world. They are a natural born rivalry and on some levels they contribute to the communities and bring people together. The rivalries, some more bitter than others, can date back hundreds of years. Mark insists that the bright lights of derbies that take place in the Premier League are nothing compared to the Steel City derby, ‘it’s the biggest derby of the lot, without a doubt.’ Meanwhile, Kelly is adamant that, ‘derbies can’t be compared. Supporters will obviously think their derby is the most important. There’s definitely a special buzz in the grounds, whether it be Hillborough or Bramall Lane at derby time – I think each atmosphere is unique.’
> There have been 125 competitive games in the Steel City derby, with the Blades winning 45, the Owls 41 and 39 draws. > The only player to score for both sides in a derby match is Alan Quinn (right) who scored for United in 2005 and Wednesday in 2003. > A total of 25 players have appeared for both sides, including Dean Windass, Leigh Bromby and Tommy Johnson. > Arguably the most high-profile derby game came in 1993, when, in the FA Cup semi finals, Wednesday won 2-1 after extra-time to reach the final in front of over 76,000 when they were beaten by Tottenham in the final.
Images for the article courtesy of Sheffield United FC 6 | Folk and Football
Sharp-shooter In light of the recent England call-up for Jay Bothroyd, I wonder how many more call-ups Mr Capello will consider for Championship players? If he does, he should look no further than Donny’s Billy Sharp. He’s been electric this season, and his workrate and energy makes him far more appealing than the prima donnas we have playing for England now. Sam Thompson, Doncaster Tigers on the march? Hi guys, just wanted to see what your readers thought of the goings-on at Hull City. Having been takenover by wealthy businessmen, looks like we’ll be going on a bit of a spree in January. We’ve already been linked with a whole plethora of players, and I think we could still make a challenge for the play-offs! Thoughts? Scott Wood, Driffield
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Warnock’s warning Dear all, as a disgruntled Blades fan at the moment, I’m looking at QPR with some serious jealousy. More so for the reason they have one of the best managers in the business in Neil Warnock (below). When he took United up a few years ago, the club treat him appallingly when we were relegated, and we subsuquently have failed to get back up to the Premiership, and look a million miles from that under Gary Speed.
I just wish we’d had a bit more faith in Warnock, because he looks like he’ll be a Premiership manager once again next year, where as we’ll be lucky to stay in the Championship. Gemma Robinson, Sheffield
In this feature we select a club from Yorkshire who are in the non-leagues and give you an insight into the club. First out of the hat, it’s former league club Bradford Park Avenue Who are they? Formed in 1863, initially as a rugby club, Avenue switched to Assosciation Football in 1907 and were elected to the Second Division of the Football League soon after. The club acheived their highest ever league finish in 1914, finishing second in the entire Football League, but a period of decline soon followed. Avenue struggled in the lower echelons of the Football League for a long period and were voted out in 1970. Financial difficulties meant the club had to fold, but were re-formed and have worked their way back up the leagues. As recently as 6 years ago they reached the First Round of the FA Cup, and were in the Conference North. Avenue now play their football in the Evo-Stik First Division, four divisions below the Football League, but with an ambitious chairman in local businessman Bob Blackburn, and plans underfoot for a new stadium, the future looks bright for the green and whites. Famous Faces Avenue have a fair few former players who have plied their trade at higher levels, especially in Yorkshire. Some of the more notable ones include Paddy Kenny, who began his career at Avenue hailing from the area. Local boy Chris Brandon, who has played in Yorkshire for Bradford City and Huddersfield Town, was another Avenue youth product, coming from the city. and Andy Liddell, who appeared briefly for the club in 2009. Perhaps Avenue’s most well known player is Kevin Hector. Hector was a member of Brian Clough’s championship winning side at Derby. Hector made his breakthrough with Bradford Park Avenue after having played in Leeds United’s youth team.His goal scoring exploits for Avenue include 44 league goals in 1965-66, the season in which he became the third youngest player to reach 100 league goals, headed only by Jimmy Greaves and Dixie Dean!
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Home Comforts Avenue play at the Horsfall Stadium in Bradford, which has a capacity of 5,000. Avenue chairman Bob Blackburn however, has ambitious plans for a new 20,000 stadium in Pheonix Park, near Leeds.
Quirky Fact Something very, very unique for Avenue fans to be proud of! Bradford Park Avenue are the only club in England to have a better record against Manchester United in meetings between the two. Avenue have won 9 times in comparison to United’s 8, with one draw. Big Rivalries Naturally, Bradford’s biggest rivals are city neighbours Bradford City. They still compete in pre-season for the Tom Banks memorial trophy every year. City currently hold the trophy after beating Avenue 4-0 in August. Elsewhere, the club holds big non-league rivalries with Farsley, FC Halifax and Guiseley. Famous Fans? John Helm, the international broadcaster and most famously known for his work as a sports journalist with ITV Calendar, is a lifelong Bradford Park Avenue fan. If you’d like your local side to be featured, providing they aren’t in the Football League, feel free to e-mail us your suggestions at folknfootball@ hotmail.com
Image courtesy of Port Pie - Southport fans site 9 | Folk and Football
Since the appointment of Simon Grayson a year and a half ago, Leeds United, for the first time in a decade look to be on their way back into the big time. United are currently sitting in the play-off places in the NPower Championship, and have enjoyed a relatively strong start to the season. Confidence is growing around West Yorkshire as the club recently disposed of Scunthorpe and Coventry 4-1 and 3-2 respectively. Their fine start to the season is testament to Grayson’s managerial skills. On a shoestring budget, Grayson has drafted in a number of loan signings, and promoted youngsters from the renowned Leeds United Academy, to create a team which plays with fluency, determination and attacking flair-albeit sacrificing defensive duties more often than not. September’s game against Preston North End signalled Grayson’s approach to the game. At 4-1 up United carried on attacking, and were eventually punished, remarkably losing the game 6-4. Granted, it was a gut wrenching loss for Leeds, but undeniable entertainment none the less. Since then, Grayson has acquired the loan signings of defenders Andy 10 | Folk and Football
O’Brien and George McCartney, from Bolton and Sunderland respectively. Significantly both have valuable Premier League experience under their belt, and should help push United’s promotion charge, while shoring up a fragile defence at the same time. The midfield looks promising too. Local hero, energetic midfielder and newly made captain Jonny Howson is a symbol of United’s new era of players. After being promoted to the first team only three seasons ago, the twenty two year old has notched up over 150 games for the club, and recently hit a stunning hatrick in the 4-1 win over Scunthorpe. Even the departure of prolific striker Jermaine Beckford in the summer to Everton hasn’t stopped Leeds’ resurgence. Argentinean front man Luciano Becchio has stepped into the pivotal role of putting the ball in the back of the net, while continuing to wow crowds with his flamboyant skills. Grayson again must be handed much of the credit for nurturing the collection of young potential stars that United have at their disposal. Kasper
Schmeichel, Jonny Howson, Robert Snodgrass and Luciano Becchio have all come into their own under his guidance, and have been firing United to the higher reaches of the league. Unlike the squad that reached the Champions league semi finals in the 2000/2001 season under David O’Leary, there seems to be stability and spirit within the current collection of players. There is no room for egos, and no extra accommodation given to players who command a bigger transfer fee or salary than others. The clubs motto: “Marching on together” seems better placed now than it did ten years ago. If Leeds were to achieve back to back promotions, it would bring the club one step closer to re establishing themselves among England’s elite clubs, and would no doubt have the fans dreaming of emulating the great
Don Revie side of the 60s and 70s. The gaffer, although “taking one game at a time” has the promised land of the Premiership in his sights. “My intentions have always been to take the club forward and after achieving promotion last season, I hope we can go on to fulfil everyone’s dream of winning promotion back to the Premier League,” Grayson told the Daily Mail in a recent interview. United, who were once a club who were “too big to go down”, seem to have weathered the financial storm. They announced a £1.6 million profit last season, while achieving promotion. Granted, it may not be a staggering margin, but ask any Liverpool fan how important it is to keep a healthy balance between dealings on and off the pitch, and they’ll tell you. The Anfield club’s form spiralled downwards as
The badge of Leeds United shines brightly above Elland Road 11 | Folk and Football
Bates, infamous for his on the field meddling while Chairman at Chelsea, has relocated to Monte Carlo-giving Grayson and Co the freedom to get on with their jobs. What a refreshing thing to see.
Former Premier League clubs such as Bradford City, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday and of course Leeds have all been in financial struggles of their own. All of which have resulted in the clubs languishing in the lower leagues of English football. However, the sight of Leeds’ fresh ambition could pave the way for these clubs to once again dominate the English game.
The gaffer recently signed a three year extension to his current deal, warding off interest from Premier League clubs who may be sniffing around. For the first time in a long time the club looks stable, and has the perfect foundation to build success upon. Yorkshire, “the birthplace of football”, has seen some very dark days in the last decade.
For Leeds United alone, a blend of youth and experience, a talented young manager, a boardroom without bust ups, and an honest and hard working atmosphere look to have turned Yorkshire’s most decorated club around. The future looks bright for Leeds United for the first time in a long time...the future looks white.
owners refused to sell the club. Notorious Leeds Chairman Ken Bates is surprisingly as popular as he ever has been right now.
Above: The infamous graph that depicts clubs league positions over time suggests an upturn in form of late after years of decline.
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10 years ago, Bradford City were in the Premier League. Today they are in League Two. Just what has happened, and are Bradford on the road to recovery under Peter Taylor? I went to their away game at Bury to discover from their fans, that Bradford is more than just your average League Two club. Gigg Lane, Bury. Not exactly the most es and followings Bradford achieve? appetite wetting of places, considering the Champions League game on “The Premier League spell definitely simultaneously down the road at Old helped the interest in the club “, DarTrafford, and the prospect of a League ren Thompson told me at the game. Two mudfest in monsoon weather. Yet Darren is a member of the Bantams Bradford City and their legion of fans unofficial supporters club, and has examass on Bury in their drones, with perienced more lows than highs over 1300 watching the Bantams earn a 1-0 the last 10 years. “Two administrations, win over their promotion rivals and three relegations, countless managcontinue their renaissance under exers being sacked and plenty of drama, England manager Peter Taylor. hopefully the club can be sustaining some sort of stability now to move on, 1300 fans is a ridiculous amount to we certainly have the fanbase to do it.” take to an away game over the Pennines on a Tuesday night for most The stability Darren eludes to is the teams outside the Premier League, but appointment of Peter Taylor, and the Bradford City are in the fourth tier of joint-chairman, Mark Lawn. Lawn is a English football. Putting the figure into Bradford fan and local lad, attending some perspective, most teams in the games for years and saving the club Championship struggle to take away from extinction for the second time in followings as large as that to most five years with his own money. Taylor games. The home figures are equally arrived at Bradford in February with as impressive too for Bradford, averag- huge credibility and a brilliant track reing over 11,000 on a regular basis. If cord, and the win at Bury was the fifth the football league was structured on win in six games after an inconsistent attendances, Bradford would be over start to the season. two divisions worth of places higher than where they are now. So, just what Ten years ago, Bradford were in their has contributed to the high attendanc- golden era, having been promoted to 13 | Folk and Football
the Premier League for the first time and enjoying the appearances of wellknown stars such as Benito Carbone, Dan Petrescu and, albeit briefly, Stan Collymore. The stay amongst England’s elite lasted merely two years, and Bradford suffered horrendous financial difficulties, famously being described as “ten minutes from extinction” in
lacking at so many football grounds in the higher echelons of ‘prawn sandwich’ Premiership arenas. The fans were behind manager and team from minute 1 to 90, and another fan I spoke to explained the reasoning behind it. ‘I think the fans have realised here that
“..hopefully the club can be sustaining some sort of stability now to move on” 2003 before now joint chairman Julian Rhodes saved the club for the first time. A night with the Bradford fans was more than a football match, it was a complete party. From start to finish, the fans were vocal, excitable and created the kind of spirit and enthusiasm
heckling and abusing the team gets no-one anywhere, especially the away contingent. The atmosphere over the last few weeks at games has been fantastic, and that rubs off onto manager and team”, says Thomas Gorringe, who has supported the club for over 30 years, and now takes his son to games. “Five wins in six games is promotion
BANTAMS: Action from Bradford’s 1-0 win over Bury
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form, and it’s what the club craves, and maybe even desperately needs, but we have the right manager, the fan base and owners who would do anything for the club – the mix is just right.” The club have also beaten off higher opposition to secure the recent signing of former England international Lee Hendrie. Hendrie at first admitted he saw the move as a stepping stone for his career and its resurgence, but is now considering a longer stay, another justification that the Bradford effect is wearing off on more and more people within the game.
As for the game itself, Bradford earned their win, and the atmosphere amongst the fans as they emptied the ground en masse was reminiscent of a promotion party or a cup final atmosphere. These fans love their club, not that anyone is disputing other fans don’t, but the passion between club and fans shows Bradford are more than just your average club. It’s almost like a strained relationship between husband and wife, the club has let the fans down over the years, likewise the fans at times from what I was told that evening in Bury, but what doesn’t kill the relationship off makes it eternally stronger, and that is evident for everyone to see.
In our first issue, in partnership with local club shops, we’re offering one lucky reader the chance to win the replica kit of their favourite Yorkshire team! To be in with a chance of winning just answer the following question. Who scored the goal that kept Bradford in the Premier League with a 1-0 over Liverpool on the final day of the 1999-2000 season? A: Benito Carbone B: David Wetherall C: Dean Windass To be in with a chance just e-mail us your answer to: firstname.lastname@example.org Pictures provided by Kevin Smith - www.kevinsmith-photographer.co.uk
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In the first of this series looking back at iconic years within Yorkshire football, we start arguably, at the very top. Don Revie’s Leeds United era was trophy laden, and also produced the clubs first ever FA Cup win in 1972 when they defeated Arsenal 1-0. We look at that great side here... 1 David Harvey Harvey was, for many years Leeds’ second string keeper but was given his big break in the final after a knee injury to Gary Sprake. He went onto make 354 appearances in 2 spells for Leeds, and is now a postman in the Orkney Islands. 2 Paul Reaney Reaney was a mainstay of the Leeds defence for years, and is third on the clubs appearance list behind Bremner and Charlton. George Best credits Reaney as “the only player who could mark him”. 3 Paul Madeley Madeley was the last of the ‘utility’ players - appearing for Leeds in every position except keeper in a 17 year period with Leeds. He also appeared 24 times for England. 4 Billy Bremner No words could do Bremner justice Leeds’ greatest ever player. Fiery and passionate, he was captain of Leeds in the final to lead his beloved side to glory. Bremner is honoured with a statue outside Elland Road.
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5 Jack Charlton A one-club man, playing for Leeds all his career, and of course a World Cup winner with England, Charlton has been described as one of the finest centre-halves of all time by his peers and is an inductee into the Football Hall of Fame. 6 Norman Hunter Another member of England’s 1966 squad, “Bites Yer Legs”, as he was commonly known formed an eponymous partnership for years at the back with Charlton. He climbed the Wembley steps twice in the final, once for his own medal and again to help injured Jones get his medal. 7 Peter Lorimer Scottish international Lorimer was regarded as having the hardest shot in the history of football. He made over 500 appearances for Leeds over a career spanning more than 20 years, and is now a director on the board at Elland Road.
8 Allan Clarke Clarke was one of the most prolific goalscorers in England in the 1960’s and 70’s - but will forever be remembered for the goal he scored in this final to give Leeds their first cup win. “Sniffer” also has an impressive England record, 19 caps with 10 goals. 9 Mick Jones Jones and Clarke were a feared front two partnership. He set up Clarke for the only goal of the final, but tragically was injured in the final minutes of the game and could not celebrate with his team-mates. 10 Johnny Giles Voted the Republic of Ireland’s greatest ever player, Giles is another Leeds legend, making 383 appearances for the whites. Matt Busby acknowledges selling Giles to Leeds as “the biggest mistake of his career”.
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11 Eddie Gray Gray, despite being dogged by injuries, played for Leeds over 450 times. He has the distinction of never being booked in his entire career, and made numerous appearances at international level for Scotland. 12 Mick Bates Bates was the “super-sub” of the Revie era, and scored one of the goals in the 1971 Fairs Cup Final. He appeared for several clubs in Yorkshire including Doncaster and Bradford after leaving Leeds.
As Huddersfield Town aim to finally be promoted to the Npower Championship after several recent seasons of coming close, one expects that if they fail they could lose some of their key players. Last season the Terriers came close to securing promotion but were beaten in the play offs by Millwall, who went on to face Swindon Town at Wembley and ultimately came out on top to go up. After narrowly missing out, there was an overhaul of their squad, with Robbie Williams, Dean Heffernan, Andy Butler, Joe Skarz, James Berrett, Michael Collins and Jim Goodwin leaving and Scott Arfield, Joey Gudjonsson,Gary Naysmith, Damien Johnson, Ian Bennett, Lee Croft, Jamie McCombe, Joe Garner and Alan Lee coming in to the side. So far, these changes have proved to be the correct decision with Huddersfield having started brightly and are currently in fifth place, two points behind second placed Charlton. There are many sides this year who could gain promotion to the Championship, with Brighton and Hove Albion currently doing well at the top of the table but at the moment there are just nine points between the side in second place and Tranmere Rovers in twentieth. 18 | Folk and Football
However Huddersfield fans are feeling confident, that this is their year. Jason McCartney MP said, “We should make the playoffs again but it’s so tight that one win and you can move up five or six places. I’m expecting Southampton to put a run together and for Brighton to fade.” Manager Lee Clark, said, “As I said last season, I want to be one of the three clubs that gets the ultimate goal and that’s to get to the next level. That’s the aim, whichever way we do it. Obviously, when you finish in the top two you can relax when the other clubs are fighting it out in the play-offs. But in the play-off final, if you can become a winner, I would say that there would be no better feeling than a Wembley win to get a promotion.” With the squad that Clark has brought together, they have a mix of experience and youth which have the potential to go on to better things. If this isn’t their year, some of the players are likely to move on. Alex Smithies, the young goalkeeper born in Huddersfield but raised in
nearby Golcar, hasn’t looked back since coming on at Shrewsbury Town as a 17 year old to replace Matt Glennon in goal, who had been sent off. He then started the game against fierce rivals, Leeds United in a 4-0 defeat. He had to wait until he was 18 before he became first choice, when caretaker man-
we got to play at Old Trafford and Sir Bobby Charlton presented us with the trophy.” Smithies isn’t the only young talent that the Terriers have in their side. They have players such as Jordan Rhodes, Lee Novak, and Benik Afobe and
“We should make the play-offs but it’s so tight that one win and you can move up five or six places” ager Gerry Murphy dropped Glennon. The 2009-10 season saw him voted the club’s Young Player of the Year award. This has led to him being named in each of the England youth squads, and with there being a lack of good English goalkeepers it won’t be long before he is called up to be a part of the senior England side. He has also been linked with several Premier League sides, Stoke City being touted as his biggest admirers.This interest was played down by Clark and Smithies’ agent, Tony Coton. Coton said, “Alex is very happy at Huddersfield. He is a local lad and is learning his trade. I have no doubt Alex will play at the highest level at some point in his career as he is a top talent, but all he is focusing on at the minute is playing for Huddersfield and continuing his education in the game.” Smithies recalls where it started though, with his greatest memories being before he played for the Huddersfield first team. “I played for Golcar Manor Road junior school team and we won a national tournament where 19 | Folk and Football
Graham Carey, who are on loan from Arsenal and Celtic respectively. The key player this term though has been winger, Anthony Pilkington, who is currently top goal scorer with seven goals. He made the move to Huddersfield in January 2009 and became an integral member of the first team missing only one game last season. The 22 year old has scored 16 goals in 72 league games for the Terriers. Jason McCartney MP added, “Pilkington could interest top Championship sides but we’re not a selling club, with a multi millionaire owner.” This is good news for the Terriers, with the blend of youth and experience meaning that if they do get promoted, they will have the best possible chance of surviving and then consolidating their position in the league. The fans will hope that the glory days will return and hope to return to the top flight of English football after 30 years. The Premier League currently has no teams from Yorkshire so hopefully it won’t be long before the likes of Leeds United, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday and then Huddersfield are all there making their presence be felt again.
The Facts Name Alex Smithies Date of Birth 5th March 1990 (Age 20) Hometown Golcar, West Yorkshire Club Career 2007- Huddersfield Town International Career 2005–2006 England U16 2005–2007 England U17 2007 England U18 2009 England U19 FAF Rating Smithies is without doubt heading for the Premiership, and certainly an England international in the making! Despite being just 20 years of age, and in only his third full season with the Terriers, it is fairly evident that Huddersfield goalkeeper Alex Smithies is headed for the top of English football. Already rated as one of the countries brightest prospects, his meteoric rise to fame in his hometown club has been nothing short of sensational. After injuries to keepers Matt Glennon and Simon Eastwood in 2008, Smithies was thrown into the heat of a West Yorkshire derby with Leeds for his full debut. Despite a 4-0 defeat, he has shown himself to be extremely capable between the sticks even at such a tender age. Throughout the 2009–10 season, Smithies was the only player to play in each and every league and cup game for Huddersfield. In conceding only 56 goals despite such a competitive campaign, he won praise from many quarters, with his contribution towards Town’s final position inside the League One playoffs being reflected by him winning the club’s Young Player of the Year Trophy. He has been linked with a plethora of Premier League clubs, but recently penned a new four-year deal at the Galpharm to jusitfy his commitment. 20 | Folk and Football
ng up nex t
We interview Rotherhamâ€™s star striker Adam Le Fondre about life at the Don Valley As Chesterfield sit pretty at the top of League Two, just what does the future hold for the Blues? Can Mandaric propel the Owls back to the big time?
We go to the local derby between Barnsley and Doncaster Rovers and spend a day with Barnsleyâ€™s most loyal fan All the results, tables and stats, as well as more of your favourite features!
Accreditation: Mark Woollas of Sheffield United Kelly Spencer, PR Officer at Sheffield United Kevin Smith, official Bradford City photographer BBC Sport
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Jason McCartney MP Darren Thompson and Tom Gorringe, Bradford City fans
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The first issue of Yorkshire's premier football magazine, featuring articles on the re-rise of Leeds United, and what kind of an impact the...
Published on Jan 14, 2011
The first issue of Yorkshire's premier football magazine, featuring articles on the re-rise of Leeds United, and what kind of an impact the...