The gap between the end of the season and the start of the following campaign is getting shorter and shorter every year. As a child the long summer months without football were a living hell, but now it goes by in the blink of an eye.
Maybe that’s more a sign of our advancing years than a scientific look at the actual length of the close season though. Anyway, Town returned for pre-season in earnest recently, heading to a training camp in Austria.
As football junkie’s we’ve been watching every video from HTTV, reading every Tweet from @htafcdotcom and watching a lot of players Instagram stories. We appreciate that most people aren’t as sad as us, so for those of you with a life here is a round-up of the latest happenings at Huddersfield Town.
Bye Bye Tommy
According to fan reports from Austria, Tommy Smith has left the training camp early and said his farewells to his teammates and Jan Siewert. Rumours have persisted of a £3 million move to Celtic in recent weeks but Stoke have stepped ahead of the Scottish Champions and now look favourites to secure Smith’s signature.
Tommy has been a big figure at Town in recent years and if he does end up leaving, will be a big loss for the club. If and when the deal is confirmed keep your eyes peeled for a nostalgic look back at his Town career.
In case you didn’t know, Farvel means 'Goodbye' in Danish and Phil Bill will be saying that to his Town teammates shortly. The lanky midfielder returned for pre-season late after featuring for Denmark U21s in the recent European Championships.
Before heading back to Canalside though, Phil Bill spent some time on the seaside courting potential new employers. Glamorous Bournemouth was the destination and it seems increasingly likely that the Dane will make a £15 million move to Dean Court in the near future.
In the videos released by HTTV from Austria, the stand-out footage came from a game of head tennis between a group of players. With the ball bouncing back and forth and the rally in full swing, Adama Diakhaby stepped up to smash a winner.
The pacey winger earned the respect of his teammates by finishing the rally with a bicycle kick. That’s not the only promising sign from Diakhaby in pre-season, he’s also been in good form on the pitch, making positive runs and providing an assist for Karlan Grant in the second friendly.
Not Much Has Changed
We’re not referring to anything on the pitch here. When we say ‘not much has changed’, we mean specifically with Jonathan Hogg and Christopher Schindler. The former is still crashing into tackles – setting up a goal for Karlan Grant with an aggressive press – and the latter is still the most handsome man in the world.
From the HTTV videos we’ve seen Jonathan Hogg is still a tank, and a very, very angry man. And Christopher Schindler continues to look like a Calvin Klein model, even when he’s pumping ‘ron in the gym.
Yep, we’re sticking with the Danish for ‘Goodbye’ as it sounds like a pretty cool word. Weirdly, we’re saying bye to Kieran Dowell after never getting the chance to say hello. The Everton player was heavily linked with a loan move to Town, so much so that we wrote a ‘Welcome Dowell’ piece last week.
Unfortunately he has signed for Derby County on a season long loan, so our excellent (believe us, it was excellent) piece will be consigned to the virtual dustbin. It did leave us asking a few questions though; when are Derby going to go bust? Where on earth do they get their money from? Questions the EFL will presumably never answer.
In the double header of friendlies against Greuther Furth Town scored twice, which was in itself a turn up for the books. Both of those goals came from Karlan Grant who demonstrated his poacher’s instinct on both occasions.
We can’t help but be excited about Grant ahead of the new season, with hopes high that he can challenge the top scorers in the league. Those goals came just before Steve Mounie’s Benin were knocked out of the African Cup of Nations at the quarter-final stage.
Despite scoring a hat-trick against Mauritania in a tournament warm-up, Mounie disappointed for his country when it came to the crunch. The big man scored a grand total of 0 tournament goals, but did manage to chalk up a one-match suspension. Good to see nothing’s changed with Steve.
During the first of the friendly matches against Greuther Furth a Town fan took to Twitter to tell us what he overheard from the touchline. Here’s what happened according to Twitter user @olifisher;
"Hadergjonaj just went into CB whilst they were attacking down the wing and Elphick said, “Flor what the fuck are you doing? You’re a right back.” They had a back and forth and the last word was from Elphick with, “You fucking idiot!” Love him."
Obviously we can't verify whether or not this is true but we've decided that it's too good not to believe. Flo appeared to be playing without a functioning brain for much of last season so it's good to see that someone has decided to set him straight.
It would also confirm what we have heard about Tommy Elphick so far, that's he a leader on the pitch.
Next up for Town is a friendly against 2. Bundesliga side Hamburger SV in Kitzbühel before returning home to play Rochdale at Spotland on Wednesday 17th July. Don’t expect any news on incoming or outgoing transfers until then, when the players and their agents have a bit more freedom to conduct deals.
Keep up to date with all the latest Town news via our site over the next few days, and if you like reading TerrierBlog why not give us a helping hand? Visit our Patreon page HERE to show your support for our independent writers.