JIMMY SPENCER, the 18-year-old Town striker on loan to Morecambe, followed up his senior debut from the bench against Gillingham last Saturday with a first start in Tuesday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy first-round defeat at Macclesfield.
The Shrimps lost 1-0 defeat, although Spencer came agonisingly close to a second-half equaliser when he hit the inside of an upright.
He’ll be hoping for another run-out in today’s League II game at Oxford, who also have a Town player, centre-back Leigh Franks, on loan.
Former Town player and coach Mark Lillis is assistant manager to Sammy McIlroy at Morecambe, who have just moved into a new stadium.
And he’s enjoying working with Spencer, a one-time Manchester City target who spent time on loan to Northwich Victoria last season.
“I’ve always enjoyed coaching up-and-coming players,” explained Lillis, who still lives in Huddersfield.
“I was development coach at Derby when their were in the Premier League, and it was a fantastic experience.
“I think the loan move will be great for Jimmy. All of a sudden, he’s in a car with three other lads, including another former Town player, Paul Scott, travelling over to Preston or Morecambe for training.
“It’s a big change of environment, and taking him out of his comfort zone will do him a lot of good.
“He tried a few fancy tricks and flicks when he first got here, but after our 15-stone centre-half Jim Bentley rattled into him, that soon stopped!
“I want to send him back to Huddersfield with a few games under his belt and as a better player for that experience.”
As well as Scott, Spencer’s Morecambe teammates include another Town old boy in striker Phil Jevons.
Town’s other loan rangers, Robbie Simpson, and Jack Hunt, have both earned rave reviews.
Simpson scored his fourth goal for Brentford to seal Tuesday’s 1-0 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy win at Stevenage while Hunt has caught the eye in six outings for League II side Chesterfield.