SUSPECTED soccer hooligans were netted in dawn raids around Huddersfield this morning.

Police mounted a big operation after expressing fears over problems surrounding Huddersfield Town's forthcoming clash with Hull and the approaching European Championships in Portugal.

And police said they were determined to deliver a hefty tackle to violent troublemakers planning fights both at home and abroad.

More than 20 officers targeted 10 homes in Fartown, Almondbury, Marsden, Slaithwaite and Thurstonland to track down the suspects, aged between 16 and 35.

Six men were arrested following a clash between Town and Leeds United fans in Leeds City Station on February 21.

The Town gang had allegedly hunted the city's bars for their rivals. The fight was captured on CCTV.

About 35 people were involved in the fracas after which five Huddersfield supporters and one Leeds fan were arrested.

Officers were also looking for evidence following an incident on December 13, when a train carrying Bradford City fans was pelted with bricks, stones and bottles while waiting at Halifax Station.

The train was extensively damaged and taken out of service.

"What we are trying to do is prevent other outbreaks of violence," said Det Sgt Dave Boldison, of the British Transport Police.

Banning orders forbidding fans from football stadiums, the rail network and even foreign travel can be handed out by the courts.

Worries about Town's forthcoming away match with Hull on April 24 as well as the European Championships this summer led to the police crackdown.

While domestic rivals happily arrange fights over mobile telephones and e-mail, when abroad they unite under the England flag.

The raids were the first of their type carried out in Kirklees by the British Transport Police.

The arrested men were held for questioning at Huddersfield and Dewsbury Police Stations.

Det Sgt Boldison said: "Most police forces will be working to the same end - to prevent these people going to Portugal and prevent the good name of the England football team being dragged into the mire."

Football intelligence officer John Stubbs said the British Transport Police

raids targeted the younger trouble-makers.

"The younger group feel they have to make a name for themselves. Some of the older group will only attack and fight other recognised groups."

He said yobs in their teens or twenties would lash out at anyone in a rival strip.

"The younger ones are quite happy to attack normal `shirts'. They are in many ways more dangerous and certainly more of a danger to the normal public."