1 Aug 2019

JERMAINE MCGILLVARY: CAREER IN FOCUS

As he looks set to gain his 300th appearance, we look back at the career of Jermaine McGillvary

The year is 2010, the location is Odsal stadium in Bradford, and a struggling Bulls welcome a Giants team on the up and pushing the big sides all the way. The majority of the season saw a not too unfamiliar name don the number 2 jersey, Leroy Cudjoe taking the wing spot in his early days for the club, but there was a new name emerging trying to steal the wing spot from the current club captain, his name… Jermaine McGillvary. 

After already making 30 appearances for Batley and a further 11 for Barrow it was time for the Huddersfield Born winger to walk on the pitch in the famous Claret and Gold but for now with the number 27 on his back. A commanding Huddersfield performance is probably what Jermaine dreamed of but to score two tries in a 46-point win, was likely out of the range of possibilities. A brace was the outcome for the 22-year-old and a comfortable win started to condemn the Bulls whilst the Giants thrived.

A promotion to number 20, but more importantly starting roles in many of the Giants fixtures during the 2011 season saw the bulldozing back break his way onto the Super League scene. 17 tries complemented 30 appearances for his home town team, and an Albert Goldthorpe rookie of the year award was his prize after a sensational season.

2012 was a tricky period for Jermaine, playing a lot of the season with ankle problems but that didn’t stop him earning the number 5 jersey for the following season and starting on the wing for Huddersfield during that year, fondly remember as one of the best for the club. The League Leaders Shield party still fondly remembered by players and fans alike.

By the time McGillvary was set to make his 100th appearance for Huddersfield, he had finally taken his place on the right wing in the number 2 jersey he has made his own, it was 2014 and Castleford awaited a tough test. A try in a pulsating game for the winger arguably settled the tie as much as any other point, with the Giants walking away 1-point winners. Confidence flowed through the side and in particular through the winger and it was clear to see

Turning points are seen in every sport, in every team and in every individual, 2015 was such a time for Jerry. Top try scorer, Dream-Team inclusion and an England call-up were just some of the achievements reached by the now ever-present winger. As he looks to make his 300th career appearance, only 240 (241 post game) have been in Huddersfield colours, with a further 17 in the white of England.

When Steve McNamara announced his 17-man squad for the England vs New Zealand decider at the DW Stadium, few would imagine changes to a side that were holding the current the world no. 2’s 1-all in a series with plenty ups and downs, BUT McNamara showed his hand and put in the Super League top try scorer for his debut. A tough game in tough conditions meant McGillvary’s workload wasn’t at all small, with carries from the back very important and it was that intensity and smart play that allowed England to win the game and the Huddersfield man to claim stake to the England no. 2 jersey.

Two years later, probably saw the current best of a fantastic career, to this point. World Cup inclusion wasn’t a shock for any Super League fan, but maybe the powers Down Under hadn’t realised the damage of the man who had been making inroads in the Super League for years. An outstanding World Cup led to speculation of many NRL teams interested in his services, proving just how vital he was to both Huddersfield and England. But despite having to fend off interest from the NRL and Super League, the Giants kept hold of their man, as he signed an extension to keep him with his home town club for the meanwhile.

As the appearances tick up, it seems fitting that such a milestone is to be hit in such a fixture, the Huddersfield fan turned player, to play against the big West Yorkshire rivals in a must-win relegation 4-pointer at home, in front of the crowd of the season. Does it get much better or bigger for the one-club man?

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