There was a transatlantic air to the first night of pre-season training at the Dual Seal Stadium as goalkeeping coach Paul Brown welcomed on board triallist Al Simpson from Los Angeles.
Born in the States, 19-year-old Simpson, the son of a former Leeds citizen, has come to this country to further his education in ‘the beautiful game’ and take in some trials with English clubs.
He has already been acclimatising to the English weather for a month and preparing his level of fitness before taking his chance with Town after playing in the MPSL with Hasental FC and, before that, Simi-Valley FC.
Also on board for trials is Greg Husthwaite, 18, from, Newsome, Huddersfield, who has previously been playing for Huddersfield YMCA in the town’s local league and Ed Hall, from Silsden.
Hall, 23, has had previous experience with Nostell and Guiseley before joining Silsden, and is currently recovering from a broken wrist, to which a plate was inserted, after falling from a ladder.
They joined last season’s custodians Paul Hagreen and Harry Stead to be put through their paces by highly qualified coach Brown who has now been with the club since their West Riding County Amateur League days.
All the players back for training ahead of Saturday week’s home friendly with National League North neighbours FC Halifax Town (3pm) were introduced to the club’s new captain Adam Field.
The Huddersfield University student, currently working on a Sports Science degree, joined Town from Huddersfield Town in the close season of 2013 where he had been a third-year scholarship and academy player.
He has been a consistent defensive performer who last term did not have the best of luck with injuries. The 23-year-old has always been popular with his team-mates and when injured was always there to cheer them on.
Town’s commercial manager, Andy Stewart, gave those committee members present a preview ahead of next Thursday night’s AGM launch, of his sponsorship packages for the 2016-17 season, superbly printed by Bailiff Bridge printing company Print-it.
Stewart, a former goalkeeper with the club from 1990-2002 playing almost 400 first-team games, says he is now looking for support from the Town’s business folk to help take the club to another level.
“Combined with running my own business I intend to see at least 10 companies a week starting from next week and our vice-chairman Charles Tolley has got me off to a flying start with an introduction to five companies in Calderdale,” said Stewart.
In the meantime, Tolley – managing director of Andy Thornton’s specialist furniture, bespoke bars and antiques in Elland – has supplied the Town clubhouse with some really quality sturdy tables and seating for the new season.