Hud­der­s­field’s Conor Coady salutes his Eng­land pal Harry Kane

League ex­pe­ri­ence vi­tal – Coady

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE - By Jack Skel­ton

IN THE be­wil­der­ing rise and rise of Harry Kane there is one clear yet para­dox­i­cal truth – both noone and ev­ery­one saw it com­ing.

While the re­vi­sion­ists, led by Tim Sher­wood, will claim he was al­ways des­tined for su­per­star­dom, surely no­body could have an­tic­i­pated Kane earn­ing a se­nior Eng­land de­but at 21 – and scor­ing within 80 sec­onds of com­ing on against Lithua­nia on Fri­day night – hav­ing al­ready amassed 29 goals this sea­son at Tot­ten­ham.

Cer­tainly those who wit­nessed a will­ing but hardly pro­lific young­ster drift through loan spells at Ley­ton Ori­ent, Mill­wall, Nor­wich and Le­ices­ter could not have fore­seen the phe­nom­e­non that was to come.


Yet Hud­der­s­field mid­fielder Conor Coady, who cap­tained Kane for Eng­land U20s, be­lieves the key to his suc­cess lies in those mixed years in the Foot­ball League that make his sub­se­quent ex­ploits all the more un­prece­dented.

“He’s one of the most hard-work­ing lads I have ever played with so while his call-up didn’t sur­prise me, he did get there ear­lier than most of us thought he would,” said Coady.

“He is a role model for all young foot­ballers and his com­mit­ment def­i­nitely de­serves to be recog­nised.

“The fact that he didn’t pro­duce at Ley­ton Ori­ent, Mill­wall, Nor­wich or Le­ices­ter is not as im­por­tant as all the play­ing ex­pe­ri­ence he got and what he learned from all those dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ences and peo­ple he worked with.

“With the Eng­land age-group sides, he was al­ways the first out, prac­tis­ing his free-kicks and just bang­ing ball af­ter ball into the net in train­ing, grow­ing as a player – it’s all he’s ever done.”

FA chair­man Greg Dyke in­voked Kane this week when im­plor­ing clubs to in­vest in home-grown tal­ent, show­ing how the Spurs player has be­come a sym­bol of the virtues of nur­tur­ing ‘one of our own.’

Yet for Coady, a prod­uct of the Liver­pool academy, he knew that af­ter thriv­ing on the regular foot­ball pro­vided by a year-long loan at Sh­effield United, his path lay away from his home­town club.

And af­ter en­joy­ing a suc­cess­ful first year with the Ter­ri­ers, the 22-yearold says that some young play­ers have plenty to gain by mov­ing to clubs rather than stay­ing put in the Pre­mier League.

“It was ex­actly the right move for me – and still is,” he added.

“I went back to Liver­pool in pre-sea­son and knew it was time to go.

“It wasn’t that I fell out of love with Liver­pool but I’d played at a big club in Sh­effield United, re­ally en­joyed my time there and wanted to carry that on.

“I’ve loved ev­ery sin­gle minute at Hud­der­s­field but, at the same time, you’ve got to pick the right club, one that is look­ing to kick on and help you grow as a per­son and a player.

“When we lose games now, I come home and I find it hard to speak to any­one I’m that up­set but you don’t feel that as an U21 foot­baller at a big­ger club.

“Look at some­one like Alex Pritchard. He’s kicked on mas­sively this sea­son but, again, he picked ex­actly the right team in Brent­ford who move the ball around quickly.” And while Coady is un­sure whether English foot­ball is in need of as dra­matic an over­haul as Dyke is propos­ing, he is con­fi­dent any young player would ben­e­fit from hav­ing a boss like Chris Pow­ell. “The sys­tem can al­ways be im­proved but, at the same time, there are a lot of tal­ented, young English play­ers,” he said. “The U21s have a chance to do some­thing spe­cial at the Eu­ros this year.

“The suc­cess of guys like Harry Kane and Ryan Ma­son (also Tot­ten­ham) is prov­ing that if teams put their faith in young English play­ers, then a lot of the time they will re­ward you. I was signed be­fore Chris Pow­ell joined but he made it a very, very easy tran­si­tion and he’s been fan­tas­tic be­cause he just has this aura that en­sures all play­ers lis­ten to and re­spect him.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Images

HURRI-KANE: Harry Kane cel­e­brates his quick­fire de­but goal in Eng­land’s 4-0 romp against Lithua­nia. Inset: Conor Coady play­ing for Hud­der­s­field against Read­ing

TAL­ENT: Conor Coady cap­tain­ing Eng­land U19s

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