HUDDERSFIELD Town boss Simon Grayson says he’s pleased at the way the new Professional Development League is coming together.
Town, who thumped Nottingham Forest 4-1 in their latest match at Canalside yesterday, when Matt Crooks and Godwin Abadaki each scored twice, are competing at the second level of the Football Association-organised competition for Under 21s.
Barnsley, Birmingham, Coventry, Crewe, Derby, Leeds, Leicester, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday and Wigan are Town’s other rivals in the League II North Division.
The formation of the league was part of the Elite Player Performance Plan which governs academy football.
While primarily for 17 to 21-year-olds, clubs can field four over-age players (one a goalkeeper), and Grayson is happy with the flexibility that offers.
“It’s important that our development squad players are getting competitive experience, and (coach) Steve Eyre is doing an excellent job with them,” said Grayson.
“We’ve also been able to stage some of the matches at the stadium which provides good experience for the players.
“On occasions, such as yesterday’s match, we’ve had to include a number of academy players, and you don’t always want them playing Saturday, then midweek.
“But with the busy schedule we have coming up, we were keen to keep the senior squad together for training, and that’s just something you have to work around.”
Town’s FA Youth Cup third-round tie against Hartlepool at Victoria Park will take place on Tuesday, December 11 (7.00).
Admission will be £5 adults and £3 concessions.