5 Feb 2021

Crabtree on Friday: Reasons to be excited for 2021

Well, it's been one hell of a year for the club. We've not seen you, our fans, at the John Smith's Stadium for a Super League game in 362 days, and 362 days ago, if you remember, we didn't even get the game on - a reminder that not everything was cancelled by Covid-19 in 2020, some things were cancelled for Storm Ciara. 

But, guess what? 2020, at least for Huddersfield Giants is over. We're looking forward to a new year with a quiet confidence, with eight new signings joining the ranks coming from all over the world but having one thing in common - their commitment in their careers shown to win. What's struck me is the personal triumph many of the players brought into our club have had; Jack Ashworth and Joe Greenwood have both won Grand Finals over here, Ricky Leutele has won the Grand Final over in Australia, Josh Jones is a GB international who has won the Grand Final, and appeared in two major finals in the last two years. 

That's even before we get to Ian Watson. Watson is someone that has interested me for a long time, showing a crafty ability to squeeze the best out of players and get an extra 15% from them. Coming off the back of a year with so many tight loses I actually don't want to go back and count them, maybe that extra 15% is enough to achieve something special?

There's also Greg Brown, a man I know well and I know will be successful at the Giants in his second spell. He's committed, enthusiastic and knows about preparing bodies for battle as we've seen at Salford in the past two years. There's the countless younger players who make up the majority of our squad and have spent the last two years exploding to life in front of our eyes; Jake Wardle, for one, is one to look out for next year. 

For Giants fans, none of this will be new information, but to the people in the rest of Huddersfield, it could be. So to those people, I say this: wherever you look in this squad; the playing staff, the coaching staff or the conditioning staff, there are proven winners on all sides.

We've had to bed in and hunker down for much of the last year, and it's been tough and every business, but I'm sure you'll understand not having our fans backing us in this past year, signing, playing their trademark Cowbells, has been like having our heart ripped out. It's been tough on our sponsors and partners also, and we are truly delighted to face the next year with them. 

Especially our kit partners; Bond It, Player Layer, Abzorb, Northern Commercials, Big Red, SKA, Easy Bathrooms, Dual Seal Glass, Venari, Better You and Portcullis. They, along with our loyal fans, have helped us to keep going in this dark year. Our Giant Community has pulled tighter together in the last year, now hopefully the boys on the field will let you think of 2021 as the year we finally lift silverware.