Huddersfield Town have endured a rollercoaster of a millennium with the club featuring in all of England’s top four divisions at some point in the last 20 years.
The Terriers started the decade with relegation into the third tier and went down into the bottom division in 2004 as they finished 22nd in the old Second Division. They weren’t down in the depths for too long though as promotion into League One was sealed the very same year, the club would stagnate at the third tier for seven years before finally making the step into the Championship.
It took Huddersfield just four years to get out of the Championship with the club winning promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs in 2017. They beat Reading on penalties at Wembley to give Huddersfield top-flight status for the first time since 1972. Despite being favourites to go straight back down, the club managed to survive the first year in the Premier League before finishing rock bottom the season after.
The club haven’t enjoyed their return to the Championship either with a return to League One a real possibility as the season comes to a conclusion. The club sacked Jan Siewert just weeks into the current campaign and replaced him with Lincoln City management duo Danny and Nicky Cowley who had just knocked the Terriers out of the Carabao Cup with the Imps. The Cowley brothers have steadied the ship slightly but have some work to do if they are to ensure that Town are not starting the 2020/2021 campaign as a League One club.
This series of articles will look at the best Huddersfield Town XI since the turn of the millennium with this piece looking at the goalkeepers the club has played in the last 20 years. There will be a poll at the end of the article for you to decide which man will get the nod in between the posts.
Here are the FOUR options that you can vote for…
Starting off strongly with one of Huddersfield’s members of the current union at the club. Lossl was drafted in from FSV Mainz 05 after the Terriers had won promotion to the Premier League. The Dane was a huge part in Huddersfield’s survival during their first season back in the top-flight as he started every single Premier League game, keeping 10 clean sheets in the process.
His second season in West Yorkshire proved to be a little more difficult as the club plummeted back down into the Championship. He only made 31 starts during the 2018/2019 campaign and managed just two clean sheets in a dismal season for the Terriers. The end of the season saw the end of his first spell with the Terriers as he would leave to join Everton on a free transfer in the summer window.
The Dane made his return to the John Smith’s Stadium on deadline day of the January transfer window as he arrived back at the club on loan. Lossl failed to dislodge England international Jordan Pickford at Goodison Park but has made seven appearances for Cowley’s side since returning to West Yorkshire.
QUIZ: These 15 players have played for both Lincoln and Huddersfield Town – True or false?
Another strong contender to make the best 11 of the millennium, Danny Ward helped the club win promotion to the Premier League in the 2016/2017 campaign. The Welsh international put in a string of impressive performances during the season as he helped Huddersfield into the Championship play-off places and kept 12 clean sheets throughout the season in his 43 appearances which included a heroic display in the play-off final.
Ward saved Jordan Obita’s penalty down to his left to give Town the advantage which Christopher Schindler kindly took as he sent Huddersfield into the Premier League by dispatching his penalty. Following the final victory, Ward returned to parent club Liverpool for the following campaign but was eventually sold to Leicester City in the summer of 2018.
Smithies was a product of the Huddersfield Town academy and would go on to enjoy an eight-year association with his hometown club. The current Cardiff City goalkeeper made his competitive debut for the Terriers in the 2007/2008 campaign, but he would provide much contribution to the squad until the following season here he started to make his impact on the side with 27 appearances.
Smithies played a roll in the side that won promotion from League One in 2012 including a heroic performance in the play-off final against Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United. He made two saves during the shootout as well as scoring his own penalty as the Terriers ended their stay in England’s third tier.
The Englishman would have three more full seasons in the Championship with Huddersfield before leaving in 2015 to join Queens Park Rangers for an undisclosed fee.
Bennett was the other goalkeeper in the squad when the Terriers secured their place in the 2012/2013 Championship line-up, making 33 appearances in League One throughout the course of the campaign. He arrived at the Terriers from their opponents in that play-off final, Sheffield Untied, in the summer of 2010 and would spend four years with the club before officially retiring in 2014.
Bennett will be remembered for his traditional goalkeeping style during his time with Huddersfield and made several key saves during the promotion winning season to ensure that they would finish in one of the play-off spots.
Which of these Huddersfield Town goalkeepers gets into your staring XI for the Millennium?