Huddersfield Town
The Galpharm Stadium

Ground No. 119
Visited - Saturday 10th March 2007
Result - Huddersfield Town 2-0 Bradford City
Competition - Coca Cola League 1
Attendance - 14,772

When the fixtures for the season came out, one of the first neutral games I looked for was for when Huddersfield would play Bradford at home. The Galpharm Stadium had been a ground that I was looking forward to visiting, and with this local derby usually attracting the biggest crowd of the season, then it seemed the best game to try and get tickets for.

As with the last few years, the kick-off had been changed to midday, so it was fairly early when I set out, but the journey up to Huddersfield went well, changing trains once at Manchester, before arriving into the town with a few hours to spare until kick-off.

You can actually see the ground from the station, so the walk isn’t too far at all, and once there you can tell that this isn’t your typical new ground setting, with the local landscape making for quite a dramatic scene. Walking up from behind the South Stand, you actually come out at virtually roof level, with little to see other than the turnstiles and the steelwork of the roof, however with a steep hill heading down towards the other end of the ground, more of it becomes visible as you head downwards. Featuring the club shop and ticket office in the foreground, the Riverside Stand dominates the ground, with its semi-circular design and being hemmed in along its length by (unsurprisingly!) a river, with a bridge over to the car park (vaguely reminiscent of Hillsborough’s South Stand and the River Don). The North Stand is more conventional, but the Antich Stand on the far side is set with a huge hill behind it, making access restricted to the sides only.

After taking a few pics and buying a ticket, it was eventually time to go in once the turnstiles opened. I’d chosen to sit in the Panasonic North Stand, which was a large two-tiered stand, with its famous semi-circular design that gives the roof an arched effect, rising highest in the centre before falling down towards the sides. To the left was the Antich Stand, which was another good sized stand, although this time single tiered, but still with the semi-circular design and arched roof. The South (Pink Link) Stand opposite was the smallest at the ground, with just one tier, and the arch on the roof being slightly less pronounced than the other three sides, but the fourth side, the Riverside Stand was more like the North Stand, with two tiers, separated by executive boxes in the middle. After surveying the scene, I went back down to the concourse to spend some time before kick-off. This was another area of the ground that helped make it better than many others, with large spaces featuring seats, and big windows to look out of. Indeed it was more like a bar than the typical concrete corridors at other grounds that at best give you the impression of being in an overcrowded basement, so that was good to see, and as expected, facilities were excellent.

With kick-off time approaching, it was finally time to go and find a seat. Despite the comparative high attendance, there was plenty of choice of where to sit, with the North Stand being unreserved, so I was able to find a good seat directly behind the goal in the Upper Tier, which with being quite steep, gave an excellent view of the action.

In the days leading up to the game, Huddersfield had sacked their manager due to poor form, and with Bradford sitting just inside the relegation zone, a footballing spectacle wasn’t exactly on the cards, but despite this, the home side managed to find themselves 1-0 up with just 3 minutes gone. Paul Hayes was the goalscorer, heading home a cross from the right to open the scoring. The rest of the half was fairly even, with both sides having chances, but at the same time, they both seemed to lack confidence, so a scrappy game never really got flowing. The second half was much the same, but Huddersfield were able to increase their lead in the 74th minute, with an excellent finish from Danny Schofield who beat the offside trap to finish past the advancing Bradford ‘keeper Donovan Ricketts. With that, the rest of the game was played out to its inevitable conclusion.

After leaving the ground, I went on to another match before eventually making my way back home, getting back in good time.

Overall, it had been quite a good trip. The match had been better than expected, and I’d quite liked the ground, in fact I’d go as far as to say it is the perfect modern venue! Most of the treasured characteristics of old grounds seemed to be present here, with a unique setting, four different stands, sloping roofs that hide the top of the stands, lending a little mystique. Four corner floodlights, with the corners open allowing you to see out of the ground. A Main Stand that seemed more impressive than the other three sides, yet a large deep side stand opposite holding more intrigue, and finally a bigger home end than the away one opposite. All in all, with good views and facilities, there isn’t much more you could actually add here to make it better. I’d recently visited Bolton’s Reebok Stadium before this, and whilst the two grounds get compared a lot (principally because of the roofs), I didn’t think that they were all that similar, with the Galpharm having a far more old school feel to it than the more modern, enclosed Reebok. For that reason, it’s a ground that I’ll be quite happy to go back to one of the days, and would recommend to anyone else.

Welcome to the Galpharm Stadium

Rear of the South Stand

Rear of the  Riverside Stand

Rear of the Riverside Stand

The Club Shop

Rear of the Riverside Stand

Rear of the North Stand

Rear of the Antich Stand

The Crowds Start to Build Up

The Antich Stand

The South Stand

The Riverside Stand

The Riverside Stand

The South Stand

The Antich Stand

The Galpharm Stadium Panoramic 1

The Galpharm Stadium Panoramic 2

The Galpharm Stadium Panoramic 3


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