Terriers trio released as Hoyle targets move to sign Vaughan

Huddersfield Town manager Mark Robins and owner Dean Hoyle celebrate after the final whistle.Huddersfield Town manager Mark Robins and owner Dean Hoyle celebrate after the final whistle.
Huddersfield Town manager Mark Robins and owner Dean Hoyle celebrate after the final whistle.
HUDDERSFIELD Town owner Dean Hoyle is prepared to back manager Mark Robins’s plans aimed at ensuring they do not have to go through the agonies of another relegation battle next season.

Town have wasted no time in starting their planning for 2013-14 by releasing veteran striker Alan Lee, midfielder Scott Arfield and utility player Tom Clarke, whose deals expire next month.

The club have also announced that they have exercised an option in Oscar Gobern’s existing contract by offering him a further year at the John Smith’s Stadium, while remaining in discussions to extend his deal beyond 2014.

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An offer remains on the table for striker Lee Novak, the club confirmed, although talks with his representatives have been ongoing since August with no deal having yet been concluded.

James Vaughan, Jermaine Beckford, Neil Danns, Theo Robinson and Godwin Abadaki have now returned to their parent clubs, with Robins confirming he will speak to Norwich City regarding 2012-13 top-scorer Vaughan, a player he is desperate to sign permanently.

Derby County are also keen on landing the 24-year-old.

An option in Under-21 captain Jordan Sinnott’s contract has also been activated, extending his deal until the summer of 2014, while Academy product Liam Ridehalgh will also be offered fresh terms after recently returning from a loan spell at Rotherham United.

Six further members of the development squad have been offered new contracts: goalkeeper Lloyd Allinson; defenders Tom Smith, James Burke and Robbie McIntyre; midfielder Dale Hopson and striker Max Leonard.

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Those contract offers add to the four made to second-year Academy scholars Ed Wilczynski, Joe Wright, Duane Holmes and Paul Mullin.

Development Squad members Scott Kay, Israel Johnson and Connor Loftus have left the club.

On announcing his released list, Robins said: “It’s hard to make these decisions so soon after the high of Saturday, but the club must start planning now for the 2013-14 season.

“Alan, Scott and Tom have all contributed really well to the club and it is never easy telling lads like them that they won’t be part of the plans.

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“Offers have previously been made to Lee Novak and there is an opportunity for him to stay here, if he wants to.

“With Liam Ridehalgh, I have only really got to see him in training in the last week, but he is under 23 so we will offer a contract and see how things progress over the summer.“

With Vaughan and Beckford now back at Norwich and Leicester City respectively, Lee freed and Novak’s future uncertain, Town – who secured their safety with a dramatic 2-2 final-day draw against one of Robins’s old clubs, Barnsley – are without a confirmed senior striker on their books for next term, as it stands.

Hoyle said: “We’ve got to make sure we get things in place to go forward in the right way and learn the mistakes of this year.

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“Jermaine and James have been great players. Unfortunately, Jermaine has been out injured for long periods, but I’m not sure whether Leicester want him as a permanent player any more, otherwise they wouldn’t have loaned him out.

“With James Vaughan, his contribution has been immense to say he’s on loan.

“I’ve got to take my hat off to him, he’s been a credit to himself. If we can keep him, brilliant. If we can’t we wish him all the best.

“It’s hard to say how many players we’ll get. It’s down to Mark.

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“We need players who see this club as a step up. Young, hungry players who are talented and see us as a step in the right direction. We don’t want players who see us as a sidestep and maybe that’s what we’ve done in the past.”

Novak, who as a substitute set up Town’s second equaliser for Vaughan against Barnsley, said: “There have been talks, but we will just have to wait and see what happens.

“We just wanted to get this game out of the way first.

“Whatever happens, it’s been the best four years of my career.

“I am settled here with my family, but part and parcel of football is moving on and if I move on, I move on. I have given everything in the four years I have been here and if I stay, I will continue to do so.”