Welcome to Last Word on Football’s team of the decade series. Today we look at the players and manager who have made it into the Huddersfield Town team. 2010 – 2019 saw the Terriers give their supporters something they had never dreamed possible.
The decade saw several promotions up the English Football League culminating in an a playoff final. A tense penalty shoot out with promotion to the Premier League in 2017 saw fans looking forward to new venues and teams to see.
The end of the decade saw the Terriers relegated from the top flight, fighting for survival in the EFL Championship. This is the Huddersfield Town Team of the Decade.
Huddersfield Town Team of the Decade
Manager: David Wagner
When appointed in late 2015 it was seen as a risk; Wagner was an unknown German from the same school of football as Jurgen Klopp. He had no experience of English football or in top flight football. A gamble, perhaps. However, Wagner turned the struggling team around, securing a place in the playoffs, defeating Sheffield Wednesday and earning promotion to the Premier League.
Huddersfield Town vary the formation based on their opponents. However, the format of 4-5-1 has been successful over the others. This format also suits the players chosen in the team of the decade.
Alex Smithies, goalkeeper extraordinaire. A very deserved title. Smithies came through the ranks of the Terriers academy before making his first team at the start of the decade. Injury curtailed his 2010/2011 season, but the following season was special. Smithies started in the play off final and scored the decisive penalty sending the Terriers to the Championship. The teams had been tied on 10 penalties each until Smithies stepped up, he saved the following one.
Tommy Smith, club captain. The defender had memorable moments with the Terriers. Colliding with his own goalkeeper during 2015 and being airlifted to hospital, sustaining a head injury. Smith was discharged the next day. 2016 was a very successful season for Smith, scoring four goals as the Terriers saw promotion to the Premier League.
Peter Clarke is a regular in the first team. The defender helped the Terriers to consecutive play-off finals during the decade. Although losing in the first, Clarke was the first of the Huddersfield Town players to score a penalty in the second. The first three were missed by his colleagues. This then led to the victory over Sheffield United and promotion to the Championship.
Christopher Schindler joined Huddersfield towards the end of the decade and was the Terriers record signing. It was the first time the club had paid over £1 million for a player. The German came from TSV 1860 Munich and set pulses racing on arrival. Schindler sent the Terriers into the Premier League by scoring the winning penalty against Reading at Wembly in May 2017.
Chris Lowe joined the Terriers towards the end of the decade. Signed from German side FC Kaiserslautern the young German joined Schindler in defence. Lowe was solid in defence and even scored two goals for Huddersfield during his tenure. The defender was another who stepped up to the plate during the play off semi-final and final to score decisive penalties to take the Terriers to the Premier League.
Squeezing into the decade is Gary Roberts. The winger was a constant in the team that won the play off final to secure Championship football. A regular goalscorer, Roberts netted 39 times in his appearances for the Terriers. Roberts left Huddersfield after the 2012 season.
Jonathan Hogg does not shy away from the action. During the promotion season Hogg collided with Mark Hudson and fractured his neck. Hogg was expected to miss the rest of the 2016/2017 season, however, the mark of the man meant that he was back and playing within a month. Hogg does a lot of unselfish dirty work which allows others in the team flourish.
Aaron Mooy was always going to be in the team of the decade. A classy player who arrived on loan from Manchester City. The Australian was a revelation from the start. Quality on the ball and working hard off the ball, Mooy has to be one of the best players ever to wear a Huddersfield Town shirt. Another of the play-off final penalty takers, the Australian became the Terriers record signing and their first permanent addition on promotion.
Adam Clayton was only with the Terriers for two seasons, however he impressed during that time. Clayton was all over midfield and could be counted on to work hard. The number eight made 94 appearances and scored 12 goals. Clayton made his mark and had to be in the team of the decade.
Anthony Pilkington is another one that just squeezes into the team of the decade. However, during the period he was with the Terriers the winger could cross as well as shoot. Pilkington scored six goals for Huddersfield during his spell with them in this decade. One of the best wingers Huddersfield ever had.
Karlan Grant was signed for a steal from Charlton Athletic in January 2019 so only just makes this decade. The Forward has scored 16 goals in the short time he has been with the Terriers. Although not a record goal scorer yet for the Terriers, Grant has impressed during the 46 appearances in the Premier League and Championship combined. It is early in his Huddersfield career, but Grant earned his place in this squad and will continue to grow and score more goals.
Who makes the bench in the Huddersfield Town Team of the Decade?
Jonas Lossl: He had to make the bench here, a hero in keeping the Terriers in the Premier League for a second season with very impressive saves. The most memorable against Chelsea, which secured a point and survival.
Oliver Norwood: Signed from Manchester United looking for regular first team football. He made 45 appearances in first season scoring six goals.
Sean Scannell: Regular winger during his six seasons with the club, scoring nine goals. A very good workhorse.
Lee Novak: Another regular first team player. Plenty of goals scored during his tenure with the club.
Jordan Rhodes: One of the most prolific scorers at the Terriers. A difficult decision not to have Rhodes as the first team striker due to his record.