With the League One season now over and the League Two schedule ending on Saturday shortly after the Championship, we thought it was a good time to look at some of Huddersfield Town’s key loans to clubs at these levels. The Terriers’ B team have had a good season and several of their young prospects have been given loans both to experience life in general as a footballer elsewhere and to gain first-team experience.
Several players have left the club for varying lengths of time, but we thought we’d take a look at four of the best known and let you know how their season has gone. Beyond those below, Town have had other successes – notably with Brahima Diarra and Josh Austerfield at Harrogate Town who both received much praise, and Ben Jackson who was one of the best players in the game. a team relegated to Doncaster Rovers.
Let’s get started then, and there’s only one place to really begin…
Read more: A wildcard and plenty of depth – a look at Huddersfield Town’s injured list with play-offs looming
After missing out on a good pre-season where he was first overtaken by early new signings and then by a late one in Tom Lees, the 23-year-old defender was sent out on loan to gain experience and play regularly after 24 appearances in a home jersey the previous season. It was a very wise decision in our opinion to help a young man get rid of PTSD from a year when his team conceded the most goals in the league. This fact was in no way his fault, but as a unit Town had endured a truly awful season.
Rotherham United wanted him and the move allowed him to stay close to home and go somewhere that would play him regularly in a very competitive Ligue 1. 28 appearances later and their season over, the Millers were promoted to second place in the Championship, and Edmonds-Green played a huge part, including a man of the match in their final match win at Gillingham.
He finished with Rotherham’s highest points per game played on average at 2.14 which was also the ninth highest among any player in the league, had the second most interceptions in the team at the during the season (second only to Michael Ihiekwe who played 14 more games and over a thousand more minutes), he earned the fourth most tackles and also contributed three goals and two assists. All season, all inclusive experience.
But for a few injuries, he would have even improved that this year. His future remains uncertain – Carlos Corberan has two right-footed centre-backs in front of him (Matty Pearson and Lees) and if Town were to move up he is in truth nowhere near Premier League level – but having signed a new contract in January they hope clearly that he has a role to play ahead of him.
Crichlow’s contract runs until 2023, with the club given the option of a one-year extension so the Terriers have an interesting decision to make. It’s been a strange season for him, a two-half game as they say, and it looks like a big summer ahead of him for his career.
At 22, like Edmonds-Green, he really needs to play now to get the experience he needs. His first loan of the season was a success, 18 games with Swindon where he was extremely well thought out.
He was played as a central defender, capable of breaking a press, and in just under 1,300 minutes he scored a goal and an assist. As they left, their fans almost all agreed that they wished he could have stayed.
The second loan to Plymouth Argyle, a split above Swindon and clearly seen as the next proving ground, just didn’t quite work out. A brilliant start came to nothing and he played less than 200 minutes for a side that huffed and puffed all season but finished just short of the play-offs. Too bad his year did not continue as it had started, and a decision to be made.
As a promising left-footed centre-back, Town will be desperate not to give up for now as he potentially becomes first-team ready, but with a few promising B teams on his tail and the likelihood next season he would be probably the third choice for the left-back at best, he really needs to play. Another loan might be the option if a permanent move isn’t agreed upon as best for all parties, but he needs to be somewhere he’ll play 30+ times and advance his career properly.
Harratt is a player that many people are very enthusiastic about. After impressing in the B team and scoring plenty of goals in the first half of the season, League Two Port Vale took the plunge and brought him to the club in January where he did well all things considered. The first of those considerations is his age, Harratt is still only 19, the second is the amount of first-team football he had played anywhere before the move – 63 full minutes spread over a loan spell of the National League in Harrogate and an appearance at the Terriers.
Eighteen appearances and three goals for a side battling for a play-off spot that they could secure with a win at Exeter on Saturday is nothing to sniff at. Exeter are already promoted and could secure the title, so a season extension is by no means a sure thing, but it is well thought out by the club and their fans on social media. Statistically, he also competes well with players who get more playing time than him and the loan has worked well for everyone.
It may be another long-term loan before Harratt is considered ready, but he knows how to understand life in a first team and all that that entails. Steady, positive progress for him will be enough at this stage and age.
Another striker who has had an interesting season and two separate loans. For a start at Walsall and then Exeter he rarely played as a striker, usually used on a large scale, and for a second he’s at a now-promoted club fighting to win a title – if nothing else isn’t good for his long-term mentality.
Phillips has plenty of potential and he’s shown it in moments this season, as evidenced by 44 appearances for both clubs and seven goals in all competitions. We will say the thing that we are not supposed to point out; Walsall was no good for him. As your writer and several others have witnessed, he was often too wide, essentially a winger he is not, and was asked to control diagonals hit “in one zone” from 40 yards away, leaving fall miles into the sky. That’s just not the point of his game, and at Exeter he’s played closer to where he needs to learn his trade in that half striker/half player role that Josh Koroma has honed for a spell. last season.
Progress, then, for a young footballer who needs to be well managed after an injury that nearly ended his career before it even started. We don’t know if he’ll ever become a regular in Town’s first team – that’s just a very difficult area to break into any team in the Championship (or, fingers crossed, even higher… ) – but the second loan worked, he had a lot of experience, and if nothing else he returns better for the whole year.