Huddersfield Giants Season Preview
Ahead of the 2019 season we have contacted fans from our Super League opponents, to help to give us a steer on how they see the season going for their team.
Our next stop is the John Smith’s Stadium and we’ve spoken to Nathaniel, 27, a lifelong Huddersfield fan. Our thanks to him for his time.
In his own words…
Started going to the odd games when I was 12-13. When I joined college I got my 1st season ticket and had one ever since. 1st year as a Season ticket holder was 2008. Recently missed my 1st game (Catalan away last season) was the 1st game I missed in 166 games
A mid season change of coach helped Huddersfield finish 6th. Simon Woolford certainly helped to steady the ship and the future looks brighter for ‘Fartown’. Can you sum up last season as a Giants fan? (Were you happy, frustrated, disappointed etc. and why)
Started the season off very poor which was frustrating as building up to the season, the talk from the club was playoffs etc. Injuries occurred and we didn’t get going under Rick Stone. Once he was sacked and Chris Thorman took over then Woolford I was happy. We played a better style of rugby and it was good to watch again. Overall was happy finishing 6th as could of been a lot worse.
There has been a big turnover on the playing staff – with Akuila Uate and Suaia Matagi being the big name in’s and Danny Brough and Jake Mamo being the big name outs. Are you happy with the deals; is there anyone you’d have kept? Is there any other position you would look to strengthen?
We start a new era as such this season with Matt Frawley coming in from Australia and Brough leaving. Looking forward to seeing Frawley play. Uate is going to be good for us and will help take some workload of McGillvary. I’m happy with our recruitment & feel we are more balanced side now and excited for what 2019 brings
Who should we be looking out for in a Giants shirt this year (and why)?
Personally I will say Darnell McIntosh. He’s been around our SL squad for a few years now but this year will be his 1st as the full back. Full back is his best position for me. He’s normally good under the high ball, quick, strong and can finish. With Grix back at the club as a coach then his defensive duties will get better. Olly Russell who’s on loan at Leigh is another one to watch out for if he gets his chance
Which of your young players is most likely to break into the first team this year?
I would say Jake Wardle. He’s got the lot for a centre – pace, skill, strength and pure talent. Few bad injuries at a young age but if he stays fit then he could play for England one day. Senior twins are another couple of lads to keep an eye out for.
The Super 8’s have gone and the top 4 play offs have been replaced with the top 5, theoretically giving the top place team a better chance of reaching the Grand Final – are you in favour of the changes?
I like the changes. It gives finishing top a bit more purpose & worth while winning it.
How do you think the Giants will go in 2019? (Where will they finish, Cup run etc)
A Cup run is all about luck but we’ve had none in last few years losing to Swinton 2 year ago as an example. I would like to see us challenging the top 5 and if we don’t make the top 8 then I feel it’s been a failure but I’m sure people at the club are saying top 5 or anything else is a failure.
How do you think the Saints will go in 2019? (Where will they finish, Cup run etc) Which player are you most worried about when we face each other?
I think Saints will win the comp. I feel they have a stronger squad than last season. Barba a big miss but Coote will be excellent in other ways & Naiqama will be outstanding which gives you 2 top class centres. Plus the return of Walmsley and then add Thompson with Roby behind them. Frightening
Top 5: Saints Warrington Wigan Leeds Huddersfield.
Grand Final: Saints v Warrington
Challenge Cup: Warrington
Man of Steel: Daryl Clark