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How Huddersfield Town's pre-season planning is shaping up for a positive and bright future

Raj Bains argues the club's approach this summer suggests the they could not only survive in the Premier League but thrive

Huddersfield Town boss David Wagner celebrates promotion to the Premier League after the SkyBet Championship Play-Off final.

Given the beast Premier League football has become, planning for life in it is becoming an increasingly complex and multi-faceted proposition.

Promotion via the Play-Offs at the end of May means Huddersfield Town have a finite amount of time to ensure they are up to scratch both on and off the pitch ahead of the big kick-off on August 12th.

Yet for what it’s worth, the club so far don’t seem fazed at all by the situation - getting to work on the task in hand with no inclination they’re taking anything for granted or getting above their station.

In the past some clubs have been guilty of trying to run before they can walk, and the harsh reality of the top-flight has slapped them back down to reality.

The result has often seen some sides disappear within themselves, prompting a culture of damage limitation - giving the league too much respect.

A classic example is Middlesbrough, convincingly promoted a year ago only to feed into boss Aitor Karanka’s reactive nature and going down with a whimper last month.

On the opposite end of the scale, a team like Hull City were in such a state of constant panic and flux they managed to chase their tail right back in to the SkyBet Championship.

However, with David Wagner at the helm, Town are unlikely to deviate from the core principles and philosophy which fuelled their promotion campaign in the first place.

And why should they?

The German’s modern and fluid 4-2-3-1 system with the defensive burden a collective responsibility and its high-energy counter press, comes from the same school of thinking which saw both Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur lay all before them to waste last season.

 

What’s more encouraging though is Dean Hoyle - yet again - looks prepared to back him by providing the tools he desires to do the job to the best of his abilities.

While the fees being discussed are minuscule compared to those quoted on the back pages for the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, that doesn’t make the significance of Town’s upcoming investments any less.

With the names linked, it’s clear the club want to build on what made them so successful last season, rather than suddenly change direction.

By looking to add depth and increase the balance of the squad, Town aren’t just planning for now, but future proofing themselves.

The ‘star’ names getting larger wages and contract hikes will undoubtedly have relegation clauses inserted into deals so should the worst come to worse, the club is well placed to recover and challenge for an automatic return to the top-flight without spending a king’s ransom to do so.

 

There are models to emulate, clearly, with the likes of Southampton, Swansea City, AFC Bournemouth and Burnley having all grown into established Premier League clubs in a sustainable fashion, proving that prior-planning and off-field intelligence is more than a match for misplaced money.

Having successfully moved to a model that includes a head of football and player recruitment, Town know that when the time for Wagner to leave does inevitably come, it won’t be a full stop on the progress of the club, merely a change of paragraph.

Nobody thought Huddersfield Town would find themselves in this position - least of all the club itself - so immense credit has to go for how faultlessly they’ve shouldered the responsibility.

And, through a smart approach, the rewards may last longer than anyone could ever have expected...

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