Mark Lillis says everyone at Huddersfield Town should be looking to raise the bar this coming season.

Academy manager Lillis – who helped filter the likes of Duane Holmes and Phillip Billing into the first-team squad last season – was a fans favourite himself in his playing days and believes the ‘one club’ base at PPG Canalside should help Town prosper.

Being around senior professionals on a daily basis can only benefit Lillis’s junior charges – Frankie Bunn is stepping up to take charge of the Under 21s this season – while he is determined to push them on with a winning mentality (Town’s Under 18s and Under 21s both won their league’s last term) to get full contracts.

“Everyone has to look to raise the bar next season; we can’t just sit on it,” said Lillis.

“I live in the town and I know how passionate Huddersfield Town supporters are, so I can’t come in and not give it 100%

“Progression at a football club means doing better than you did the previous season, and everyone should be focused on that.

“The lads who have come in – and the lads who have been here a couple of years – should have massive confidence that they can perform at Championship level.

“They should embrace the challenge of getting in the first team and making sure they are on the teamsheet for the first match against Bournemouth.”

Lillis – who managed the club temporarily before Mark Robins was appointed in February last year – says the message is no different to members of the Academy.

 

The new Under 16s have been going through medical and fitness assessments before training for the first time at PPG Canalside.

“It’s great that we are all on one site because the first-team lads have been really good in giving advice to young lads who have been lacking in confidence, and that makes a big difference,” he said.

People like Peter Clarke and James Vaughan have helped out tremendously with things like that and it’s so important, and at the same time we can get our Under 18 lads to go and train with the likes of Vaughan and Lee Peltier and see how they do.

“If they show up well and prove they can handle it, then the manager has shown he is prepared to give them a go at senior level, which is what this is all about.”

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