Huddersfield Town duo join Harrogate Town on loan - and not just to make up the numbers

Harrogate Town completed their first bit of business of the January transfer window on Tuesday afternoon.

Tuesday, 4th January 2022, 5:34 pm
Midfielder Josh Austerfield has joined Harrogate Town on loan from Championship Huddersfield Town. Pictures: Harrogate Town AFC

The Sulphurites have boosted their rather depleted ranks with a double swoop for Huddersfield Town midfield prospects Josh Austerfield and Brahima Diarra.

Both men have glimpsed first-team action with the Championship outfit, but will spend the remainder of 2021/22 at Wetherby Road with the aim of getting more senior football under their belts.

And Harrogate manager Simon Weaver, who had just 12 outfield players available for selection the last time his side played a competitive fixture, insists that the duo have not been brought in just to make up the numbers.

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Brahima Diarra at Harrogate Town's training ground.

"Both Josh and Brahima have got a huge amount of potential and we’re excited about giving them game-time, which will be invaluable for them and us," the Town boss said.

"We don’t see them as just on-the-periphery players, we see them challenging the current starters and really enhancing our chances of doing well this season.

"They’re both midfielders but both have different strengths. Brahima is an attacking midfielder and Josh is capable of playing as either an attacking midfielder or a holding player.

“They’re both great options for us moving forwards.”

Austerfield, who was born in Morley, has been part of Huddersfield's set up since the age of seven, impressing throughout his time with their academy.

The 20 year-old has featured for the Terriers' first team on a couple of occasions, making his professional debut in September 2020 against Rochdale in the EFL Cup before going on to play in the Terriers’ FA Cup tie against Plymouth at the start of 2021.

Attacking midfielder Diarra started his football career in France, turning out for his local club Montrouge FC 92. The 18 year-old joined Huddersfield in July 2019 and signed his first professional contract a year later.

He made his senior debut for Carlos Corberan's team in December 2020, when he came on as a substitute against AFC Bournemouth in a Championship fixture.

Expanding on each player's attributes, Weaver added: "Although Josh has been used predominantly as a holding midfielder by Huddersfield, I see the qualities he has and think he can be effective going forwards as well.

"He's tall at around 6ft 2", very athletic, he's rangy and he can be a box-to-box midfielder. He's just a very talented footballer.

"Diarra is a number 10 really, an effective attacking player. He's one we know gets into the box and gets on the end of things.

"He's has a low centre of gravity, he is very quick and he's really skilful. He's only young but he's robust.

"He's someone we think can make an impression at League Two level at this moment in time - we think both of these players can."

Both Austerfield and Diarra are in line to make their Harrogate debuts on Tuesday evening when the Sulphurites host Carlisle United at the last-16 stage of the EFL Trophy.

Kick-off at the EnviroVent Stadium is at 7pm.