HUDDERSFIELD Town have handed youngsters Jack Hunt, Leigh Franks and Liam Ridehalgh contracts for next season.
Now manager Lee Clark wants the trio of 19-year-old academy products to maintain the progress they have made as first-year professionals.
Antony Kay’s illness meant Hunt, pictured, who plays at right-back or in midfield, was on the bench for the second time this season against Charlton on Saturday.
He had a loan stint at Blue Square Premier club Grays Athletic earlier this season.
Franks, who spent a month with Fleetwood Town in the Blue Square North, is a centre-back originally signed from Bridlington Town.
Ridehalgh, pictured, is a left-sided defender or midfielder, and like the other two, Clark has seen plenty of potential.
“They have all caught the eye during training and reserve games, and both Jack and Leigh benefited from their loan spells,” explained the boss, who expects midfielder Kay to return to training today.
“The quality of players we have brought into the club means their opportunities at first-team level have been limited so far.
“But they have matured through training with the more senior players on a day-to-day basis, and if I need to call on them, I wouldn’t have any qualms.”
The three are all set to play for the reserves in tomorrow’s totesport.com League East Division clash with Hartlepool United at Billingham (2.00).
Clark could also give Nathan Eccleston a run-out.
The on-loan Liverpool teenager is available for Saturday’s key League I trip to Wycombe Wanderers after serving a three-match ban.
On Kay, Clark said: “He could probably have trained yesterday, but we didn’t want to take any risks.”