Tom Ince is rolling back the years at Huddersfield by playing alongside childhood team-mate Tommy Smith


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TOM INCE is rolling back the years at Huddersfield, right the way back to playing alongside Tranmere Rovers’ ground as a kid.

But he feels more chances should be given to young English players, especially now they are making progress at international level.


Tom Ince is back among old friends at Huddersfield

The Town winger and right-back Tommy Smith played together in the school of excellence at now National League Rovers.

It is testament to both that they have made it to the top flight after each deciding to leave bigger clubs in Liverpool and Manchester City respectively.

And after his own struggle, Ince believes the time is nigh for top flight sides and their fans to realise what they have on their doorstep rather than looking elsewhere.

He said: “I was probably nine or 10-years-old. We were kids going through the school of excellence at that time.

The £10million signing of Tom Ince from Derby was Huddersfield's best buy this summer


Ince has made a fine start to the season

“Me and Tommy lived near each other. He’s Frodsham, I’m Chester, so it’s not too far but it’s been rolling back the years with me and Tommy. We’ve both gone down different paths but ended up here together.

“It’s weird seeing him here now, years down the line, and seeing how far we’ve come together. We always say to each other how far we’ve come.

“Our games were on the fields next to Prenton Park. It rolls back the years now, going back to the days when football was about fun!

“Of course, it’s more difficult for young English players in the Premier League because it’s a much more multicultural and multi-language league now.

Monday Premier League preview featuring West Ham v Huddersfield

Huddersfield have signed Derby livewire Tom Ince for their first season in the Prem


Ince believes English clubs should give young homegrown products more chance to shine

“You get a lot of owners who come in from abroad and say, ‘I want to get this manager and these players,’ from whatever country in Europe or Africa, then they have a kid in their youth team aged 18 or 19 who just needs that opportunity to play.

“It’s great when we see young players getting a chance now, English players and showing we actually have some good young players and it’s just a case of giving them that opportunity and experience.

“It’s very quick to say, ‘He’s a foreigner, so he needs a year to adjust.’ It’s no different for an English player. Just because he’s English doesn’t mean he’s going to come in and be a world beater straight away.”

Ince, 25, is now back in the Premier League after Huddersfield took him from Derby after their promotion.

Hull City have confirmed the signing of Tom Ince

Ince was a Premier League wow during his time at Blackpool

And he sees some similarities to his time at Blackpool under Ian Holloway with many writing the Terriers off as relegation certainties.

One of them is his former boss, who the winger believes deserves massive thanks for his progress, although he did not feel like he was on an upward curve when he first went to the Seasiders from Liverpool.

He added: “Ian’s a special man, let’s put it that way. He’s a one of a kind type of guy but he was fantastic for me.

“When I had the chance to stay on at Liverpool, I felt at that time that reserve football wasn’t what I needed at 18/19. I needed to have something different.

New signing Tom Ince after his transfer from Derby County

PA:Press Association

Ince hopes to continue his and Huddersfield’s fine start at West Ham

“The first day I got there, I remember it was behind the airport and the sand dunes were blowing over my face, in a little hut at Squires Gate with a bloke walking around the pitch with his dog. I was just looking thinking, ‘Oh my God, what have I done here?’

“People look at Ian and think, ‘What’s he doing?’ but he’s so enthusiastic about life and everything. He’s had so many problems he’s had to overcome, like his three children being deaf and people forget that, they just think he’s someone who wants to speak his mind.

“What Blackpool did at that time was a massive achievement and there’s a similar ‘prove people wrong’ attitude here. You have to have that.

“Last year, Ian put a bit of a downer on Huddersfield and I’m sure he regrets that but what he is is an enthusiastic man who loves football and he wants people he’s worked with in previous times to do well.

“I owe a lot to him as he gave me the opportunity to play and express myself.

“He’s probably tipped us to go down this season. I’ll have to get his number and give him a call, I’m not having that but Ian speaks his mind a little too much. He’s too honest, that’s his problem.”

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