Huddersfield Town have stepped up their pre-season preparations for the 2014/2015 campaign and appear in good spirits as the culmination of a new coaching staff, two new signings and the return to fitness of star striker James Vaughan offer the club a fresh start.

Town's form tailed off badly in the middle of last season and left the Terriers clinging onto their Championship status for a while but having spent two seasons in the second flight of English football, progress needs to be made this time around.

There are players who may yet face manager Mark Robins' cull - particularly if he chooses to make further signings - but equally there are individuals within Town's squad who could feel 2014/2015 is their year to shine.

Here are five players who fans should be excited about for the upcoming campaign...

Tommy Smith

The Manchester City academy product enjoyed something of a breakthrough year in 2013/2014 which was capped when he was crowned Town's Young Player of the Year.

It was fully deserved and recognised the meteoric progress the young defender has made in such a short space of time at Town. With Lee Peltier only set to provide him with renewed competition, Smith can thrive on the pressure added numbers in defence brings.

Duane Holmes

The American teenager announced himself on the big stage - albeit in a 1-0 Capital One Cup defeat at Hull City - last season and in a dour match, he came away with the majority of the plaudits for his busy midfield display.

2014/2015 could be a crucial one for Holmes because given the crop of youngsters available in central areas to Robins, he must do his utmost to stand out from the crowd. He is certainly capable and one attractive factor is his playmaking ability and desire to beat defenders.

Philip Billing

Signed his first professional terms at the back end of 2013 after impressing for the various academy sides and it spoke volumes about the regard Robins holds him in that he handed him his first-team debut against Leicester City in April.

His presence in the middle of midfield belies his tender years and while it owes primarily to his staggering 6ft4in frame, it is an attribute Town could do with against more physical sides.

Joe Lolley

Possibly the most advanced of the young midfield options but had his progression stunted to a degree by the shin splints he suffered after his arrival from Kidderminster Harriers in January.

His direct running, dazzling footwork and eye for goal, though, ensure he will push for a starting XI spot next season, with Danny Ward perhaps the most culpable. His goal and assist - for Ward, ironically - in the final-day 4-1 win at Watford last year stand him in good stead.

James Vaughan

A surprise choice in that he is by far the most experienced on this list but after enduring such a frustrating injury-hit 2013/2014, Vaughan will hope to hit the ground running this season and prove he is Town's star man.

Nahki Wells stepped up to the plate after his January switch from Bradford City but the idea of a Vaughan-Wells forward axis is a tantalising one for Town fans and could afford Robins' tactical flexibility in switching from a 4-2-3-1 to a 3-5-2.

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Which player are you most excited about for the 2014/2015 season?

 

Now see who you picked in your starting XI for 2014/2015 - click here to see who made the cut

The five players who have most to prove at Town as pre-season gets underway - click here to find out who

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