A number of supporters have been in touch to express their views regarding the club’s plans to re-categorise the Academy from the existing Category 2 setup to Category 4 under the EPPP.
Dean Hoyle has said that it was the biggest, and most difficult, decision undertaken during his tenure. Evaluation, appraisal and the overall success of Academies, ‘Schools of Excellence’ and ‘Football in the Community’ has been a moot point for many years.
However, there can be very little dispute that Huddersfield Town have made every effort, throughout this time, to provide the facilities, resources and opportunities for the Academy to succeed at the highest possible level.
A special mention must go to those supporters who regularly contributed directly, or indirectly, to the various fund-raising schemes such as The Blue & White Foundation, The Patrons, On The Move, Golden Gamble and, of course, the hugely successful P4P1-8.
Town's Head of Marketing and Communications, David Threlfall-Sykes, has said that he doesn't envisage any change in the funding from these sources. The decision to re-categorise was not made in order to save money; the intention is to redirect money, previously used to support the U8-U16 age groups, so that the U18s and U23s are able to recruit better players, improve facilities and run an elite games programme.
As such, the funding requirement from the sources above still exists, and may even increase, but there are other significant sources of funding.
The FA National Game Strategy for Participation and Development 2015-2019 was a commitment to boost grassroots football to the tune of £260 million. Targets were set; more players playing football more often, £48m for new and improved facilities, £16m to educate and train coaching staff, recruiting and developing volunteers and ‘paid’ staff to service the game.
Perhaps 2017 would be a good opportunity for the FA to give a ‘half-time’ team-talk and let grass-roots football know how much money still remains in the kit-bag.
In previous seasons, HTSA have sponsored a number of junior teams but our resources bare little comparison to those of the FA. However, we are keen to play our part and would like to hear how we might help to boost participation and contribute to the local development of grassroots football.
There are still some seats available on the Coach to Burnley at a very reasonable £10 for HTSA members and £14 for non-members (including 12 months free membership). The HTSA ‘kids pay their age’ offer is available for those families with children who are under 10 years of age.
HTSA are also taking bookings for the coach to Swansea on Saturday, October 14. Members can travel for just £23 and non-members for £25. As usual we will be offering a choice of two departure points; 6:45 from Gooder Street in Brighouse and 7:15 from the John Smiths Stadium.
To book your seats please text 07725036109. If you wish to make a group booking please text the full names of all the group members. Supporters with mobility difficulties can also reserve seats towards the front of the coach, simply include a brief note to this effect in your text.