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Huddersfield Town have parted company with Academy chief Mark Lillis.

The former player has left his role after a review of the youth system - and coaches Dave Haley and Mick Reed have also left as part of the process.

A popular figure at the club, Lillis has served in three capacities, as player, youth coach and caretaker manager.

He spent four and a half years as head of the Academy and helped them gain Category Two status for the Academy under the Elite Player Performance Plan.

Town are now set to recruit new names for all three roles.

Dean Hoyle paid tribute to a "fantastic ambassador" but says he is keen to move the Academy forward, so that it produces an increasing number of players who can make a big impact at first team level.

Here's what we have learned

Club legend and Academy boss Mark Lillis has left Huddersfield Town.

Here’s a recap of what we know:

  • The former player has left his role after a review of the youth system - and coaches Dave Haley and Mick Reed have also left as part of the process.
  • Club chairman Hoyle paid tribute to a “fantastic ambassador” but says he is keen to move the Academy forward, so that it produces an increasing number of players who can make a big impact at first team level.
  • Town are now set to recruit new names for all three roles.
  • Fans have paid tribute to Lillis’ passion and commitment to the club.
  • Some said the club should have kept him, while others said it was time for new faces to take the Academy to the next level.



Town fan Marc Slater gives his reaction on our Facebook page

cant believe they have got rid of one of towns most passionate employees, will be a sad sad loss for htafc

Steve Dyson chips in with his views

i for one thank Mark Lillis for his service to huddersfield town.. and wish him well in the future...wonderful ambassodor.


Recognition for the chairman over those "tough decisions"

Plenty of strong opinions among Town fans

Have we let down one of our own?

Lovely tribute from Sivan

Town fan Rita isn't impressed

A bit harsh Soren?

Video: Doug Thomson on the departure of Mark Lillis

If you missed it earlier, here’s Dougie Thomson’s reaction to the departure of Academy boss Mark Lillis

Who will be the new Academy boss?

A reminder of a recent success for the Academy


Kevin Burns comments on our Facebook page

I understand Dean Hoyles reasons. And after all he is the owner and can do whatever he likes. But i do feel his comment about not many Academy players coming through to play for 1st team are misguided. Exactly how many Academy, Under 21,s etc have been give a chance in the 1st team. The usual excuse is they are not ready therefore lets get loan players in.

Too few players making that step up?

He will always be remembered as a Town hero

He scored 63 goals in 242 games between 1978 and 1985, when he joined Manchester City, who had rejected him as a 17-year-old, for a tribunal-fixed £132,500.

Mark Lillis pictured with a photograph of his glory days as a player at the club
Mark Lillis pictured with a photograph of his glory days as a player at the club

Find out more here

"Club needs to evolve"

Not everyone is happy...

Hoyle's decision being understood

Doug Thomson's verdict on the decision

While a lot of fans are disappointed to see Mark Lillis go, most can also see the logic behind the decision.

Dean Hoyle obviously hasn’t made it lightly.

But as Doug Thomson explains:

Town have been highly competitive at both age levels in all four seasons of the PDL II’s existence.

But the bottom line is the production of players for the first team by an academy which is central to chairman Dean Hoyle’s blueprint for taking the club forward.

In the eyes of many, there haven’t been enough, and the few that have pushed through, like Philip Billing and Flo Bojaj, joined the club in their later, rather than early teens.



His piece is really worth reading in full here.

Fans gutted to see him go

Doug Thomson answering your questions

Huddersfield Town writer Doug Thomson is taking questions on facebook regarding today’s news.

Follow it live by liking our facebook page here.


Do you agree with this?

Dean Hoyle explains his thinking

The Chairman has explained that he has not reached this decision lightly, but he wants the Academy to keep moving forward.

Dean said:

“All three have contributed to getting the club to the level reached and I wish Mark, Dave and Mick all the best for the future.

“However, I have stated before that nobody at Huddersfield Town is happy with treading water in the Championship and the intention is that the academy will play a large part in helping the club make steps forward on the field.

“The academy plays a big part in our football strategy and the truth is that it has not been delivering Championship-quality footballers on a regular basis.

“The young players making a genuine impact at first-team level – the likes of Philip Billing, Flo Bojaj and, before that, Tommy Smith and Harry Bunn – have been recruited from outside at 16 and above.

“That extends to the players who have gained such good results at Under 18 and Under 21 level in recent seasons.”

Lillis leaves - the full story

Huddersfield Town have parted company with popular former player Mark Lillis.

Get the full story here.

Former Huddersfield Town player Mark Lillis.
Former Huddersfield Town player Mark Lillis.

Mark Lillis departs Huddersfield Town

Club looking for a new Academy Chief

Mark Lillis, who has parted company with Huddersfield Town
Mark Lillis, who has parted company with Huddersfield Town