SOCCER fans are being urged to be on their best behaviour for Saturday’s huge derby game between Town and Leeds United.
But there was also a warning for a minority of the 20,000 fans expected at the game: Misbehave and we will track you down.
Police are gearing up for a huge operation to ensure the League I game at the Galpharm Stadium goes off without any trouble.
And they been helped by both clubs and by licensees in Huddersfield, who will not be opening pubs until later in the day.
The kick-off for the game has been brought forward to noon and strict ticketing arrangements have been brought in by the clubs.
Leeds have sold their allocation of 4,000 tickets for the stadium’s South Stand and police are confident the ticket schemes will prevent the problems of last season, when United fans were found in Huddersfield sections of the ground.
Some fans were ejected from sections of the ground and police warned the same action would be taken on Saturday if there were concerns.
Chief Insp Ged McManus, of West Yorkshire Police, said: “The Town club have worked very hard to ensure tickets are sold to genuine fans.
“They have had special deals which include the Leeds game as a package of three and are also selling only to supporters they know for the handful of seats remaining. As of yesterday, there were fewer than 1,000 tickets left for the match.
“It is expected to be a game attracting more than 20,000 people and will be the biggest crowd at the Stadium for years.
“We want people from both Huddersfield and Leeds to be welcomed to this town and to the Stadium but we want them to respect both and each other.
“It is always a minority who cause disorder but a 1% minority of 4,000 fans is 40 people and if they cause trouble we have our hands full.
“We have had problems in Huddersfield and at the Stadium this season and a number of people have appeared in court and have been given football banning orders.
“If the same happens on Saturday then we want to warn fans we will trace them.
“They may not get arrested on Saturday when they are causing trouble but they can expect a knock on the door.
“There will be a full investigation into any disturbances and the troublemakers will be caught, taken to court and probably banned from football both here and abroad”.
Police have urged all supporters travelling to the game to ensure they allow plenty of time to make their journeys.
They expect congestion on many of the roads leading into Huddersfield, particularly the M62 and the A62 Leeds Road, and around the Galpharm Stadium.
They also advised there could be problems in finding parking spots and urged fans to allow extra time.
Police will be on duty in large numbers from early on Saturday morning and have drawn up plans to escort supporters to and from the Stadium.
Last season’s game attracted criticism as Huddersfield supporters were prevented from using the St Andrew’s Road car park immediately after the game. There were complaints from some but only a handful.
Chief Insp McManus said: “We escorted the Leeds supporters to their coaches at the end of the game and there were announcements made to the Huddersfield fans to wait in their seats for a few minutes to allow is to do that.
“It is an option we may well use on Saturday, depending on the circumstances.
“Our message is: Enjoy the match and behave in a responsible manner”.