Huddersfield Town: Are the Terriers Snapping at the Heels of Promotion?

Mark BatemanCorrespondent IAugust 25, 2009

NORTHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 10: Huddersfield Town manager Lee Clark (left) and his assistant Terry McDermott look on during the Coca Cola League One Match between Northampton Town and Huddersfield Town at Sixfields Stadium on January 10, 2009 in Northampton, England.  (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)

Huddersfield Town was once a team dreaming of promotion to the Premier League, but then the West Yorkshire club began to struggle.

Relegations in 2001 and 2003 saw the club in the basement of English football and a string of managers attempted to revive the club's fortunes.

Peter Jackson did enjoy some success when he took charge at the Galpharm Stadium in 2003 for his second spell, guiding the team back into League One in his first season.

But the heartache of missing out on the playoffs followed by several mediocre seasons saw the departures of Jackson, Andy Ritchie, and Stan Ternent.

But now a new age is dawning for Huddersfield and after years in the doldrums, the Terriers could well be back chasing the dream of the Premier League.

The club is now owned by Dean Hoyle, a lifelong Town fan, who took over the club in June of this year. A successful businessman, he is the founder and owner of Card Factory, a chain of stores selling greetings cards and gifts across the UK.

Hoyle, who took over from former chairman Ken Davy as the majority shareholder at the club, is investing in the team, with the ambition of establishing Huddersfield in the top flight.

The team has enjoyed early season success under the watchful eye of former Newcastle United midfielder Lee Clark, who replaced Ternent as manager in December 2008, following a stint as assistant manager at Norwich City.

During the summer, Huddersfield made several changes: Long serving striker Andy Booth retired, while Clark released Jon Worthington, Malvin Kamara, Dominik Werling, Daniel Broadbent, and Dan Codman.

Danny Cadamarteri and Andy Holdsworth both rejected new contracts with the club, moving to Dundee United and Oldham Athletic, respectively.

But Clark wasted no time in replacing the players, bringing in Tranmere Rovers, captain Antony Kay (on a free transfer), as well as Peter Clarke from Southend United.

Clark then bolstered his strike force and midfield with the signings of Coventry City striker Robbie Simpson for £300,000 on a three-year deal, Lee Peltier from Yeovil Town on a three-year contract for an undisclosed fee, Theo Robinson from Championship side Watford for an undisclosed fee on a three-year deal, and Ipswich Town striker Jordan Rhodes joined the Terriers on a four-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

All the players have gone on to help the Terriers to a great start to life in League One this season, including a 3-1 win over former Premier League club Southampton and a 7-1 drubbing of Brighton.

Huddersfield is one of the bookies' favorites for the title this season and is a club on the rise.

They have everything in place for a successful future.

They have a young chairman who is loyal and committed to the club and is prepared to invest, a manager who has the ambition to move up the football pyramid, and a squad of talented young players who will mold into a squad capable of great things.