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Terriers shoot down Blades

Welcome to The Trawler, your weekly submersion through the teeming waters of life in the Championship, League One and League Two. You might be surprised what you find down there.

Terriers shoot down Blades

Huddersfield will be playing in the Championship next season, after beating Sheffield United in an epic penalty shoot-out to conclude their tense League One play-off final at Wembley. With both sides having failed to score in 120 minutes, the outcome was decided by goalkeeper Steve Simonsen's missed spot-kick in sudden death. Simonsen skied his effort to hand Huddersfield an 8-7 shoot-out success.

The triumph served to validate the appointment of Terriers manager Simon Grayson, as the successor to Lee Clark in February. Grayson arrived fresh from the sack at Leeds, and with many questioning the decision to remove Clark in the first place. But three months on he has delivered Huddersfield the promotion they so badly wanted.

Watching the penalty shoot-out was beyond him though. "I couldn't affect anything so I just sat down on the bench next to my chairman, I didn't watch any of them," Grayson said. "I could tell by the crowd what was happening, basically we just had a laugh and a joke about what was going to happen. It's down to the players. Sometimes it's written in the stars, you get your bit of luck and we managed to do that."

United fans deserve our sympathy. The result made it four defeats from four play-off final appearances for the Blades, and leaves them lingering in League One while Sheffield neighbours Wednesday take ownership of bragging rights in the Championship.

Rhodes to Fulham?

The Daily Mail reports Huddersfield have put an £8 million price tag on striker Jordan Rhodes, with Premier League clubs Fulham, Aston Villa and Everton all said to have been notified of his availability.

Rhodes' 40 goals in the 2011-12 season played a huge part in his team's run to the League One play-off final, and though his team secured promotion it appears increasingly likely the 22-year-old will start the new campaign elsewhere.

Huddersfield are determined not to let him go on the cheap however. When told of Fulham's reported £3.5 million bid, Huddersfield manager Grayson said, "Is that for his right leg or left?"

Teenager stars for Crewe

The final game of the Football League season saw Crewe beat Cheltenham 2-0 in the League Two play-off final at Wembley, with 18-year-old Nick Powell named man of the match after opening the scoring with a sweet volley from the edge of the box.

It could prove Powell's last goal for the club, after Crewe manager Steve Davis admitted bids are inevitable for his star player. "I know there's been a few bits in the papers about him and Manchester United but we've not had any solid offers," Davis said. "But I think it will come. I think next week you'll see something develop."

Beaten Barmby?

Nick Barmby has lost an appeal against Hull City's decision to sack him as their manager in early May. You may remember Barmby got the bullet after publicly criticising the club's transfer policy. Hull's vice-chairman Ehab Allam was angered at his claims there had been no money available to him during the January window, and said Barmby was lying.

Barmby was suspended, then fired a week later. The 38-year-old is now consulting with the League Managers' Association after his appeal against the dismisall was unsuccessful.

"It goes without saying that I am very disappointed that there wasn't a favourable outcome to my appeal against my dismissal as manager of Hull City FC," Barmby said. "I was surprised that the club did not appoint an independent person to hear the appeal and I am now considering the outcome in detail and will consult with the LMA's legal team before deciding on any further action."

Di Canio corner

Swindon manager Paolo Di Canio is, as Trawler readers know only too well, no stranger to controversy. His experience will surely come in hand after the club decided to offer goalkeeper Luke McCormick a place on their summer tour to Italy, and the chance to earn himself a contract.

Former Plymouth player McCormick was jailed in 2008 for killing two young boys after falling asleep at the wheel of his car. He was over the legal alcohol limit.

Swindon have already been fiercely criticised for offering him a way back into football, with the club's chairman Jeremy Wray promising to resign if any dealings with McCormick damaged their reputation.

It will also be interesting to see Danny Wilson and Di Canio lock horns as managers. Wilson was Di Canio's boss at Sheffield Wednesday when the Italian pushed referee Paul Alcock to the ground.

Orient sign up for football X-Factor

Leyton Orient and Swindon Town will both participate in the 2012 running of Samsung's 'Win A Pro Contract' competition - the "nationwide football talent search" that saw 2011 winner Chris Smith elevate to a first-team start with Swindon earlier this month.

It's football as X-Factor, with trials to be held at Goals Soccer Centres across the UK.

Millwall to rename stand

Millwall are to rename their west stand at The Den, 'The Barry Kitchener Stand', in honour of their legendary late defender, who passed away in March this year.

"I think this was probably one of the easiest decisions the board have had to make," said chairman John Berylson.


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