Supporters' Association

Examiner Reports: July 2012

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Contents

4th
11th
18th
25th

4th

In celebration of the Giants’ Heritage Project, a brief history of the club is being serialised on a monthly basis.

This month focuses on the late 19th century.

Early Years [continued]

As the football club grew, it became a useful recruiting tool for the Huddersfield Athletic Club. In 1869 six matches were played and by 1870 three of the club's players had been selected to represent Yorkshire. By 1872 there were so many players that a second team was formed.

The growth in popularity of the club and the need for better facilities led to the Huddersfield Athletic Club approaching St John's Cricket Club with a proposal to merge the two clubs. St John's Cricket Club had been formed in 1866 at Hillhouse and had moved to Fartown ground. By 1875, when amalgamation talks began, over £800 had been spent on developing the new ground. At a meeting on November 27, 1875, at the Thornhill Arms Inn the two clubs agreed to merge to form the Huddersfield Cricket and Athletics Club. The motion was passed by 55 votes to 37.

Initially the football section stayed at Rifle Field, but alterations made in the summer of 1878 meant that rugby could begin at the start of the 1878/9 season with the visit of Manchester Rangers on November 2. The new ground would become the club's home for 114 years and would provide the club's famous "Fartown" nickname.

In 1895 the club were founder members of the Northern Rugby Football Union, (later the Rugby Football League).

 [If anyone would like to be involved with the Heritage Project, in particular scanning items for the website, please get in touch with Dave Calverley.]

Forthcoming events:

• The Giant Olympics, a Race Night with a difference - July 13th. Entry will be free for members and £1 for guests. All our athletes require trainers at a cost of £2 each. Race Sponsors are also sought.

• In conjunction with the Legends, we shall be running coaches to the semi-final on July 15th: adults £10, children £5; £20 [£10] including 2 course meal. The club will also be running coaches. Book online now.

• Our guest speaker for August [7th] will be Jeff Wittenburg.

11th

Well, here it is: the promised report of our evening with our coach, Nathan Brown.

Nathan chose to have a question and answer session, here are some of them.

“When you return to Australia, will your children want a pen pal?”

I’m sure they will. Are you volunteering?

“How did you start playing rugby?”

At about 4½ years old, back in my home town of Yamba, New South Wales, we used to throw a ball about non-stop. As I grew older, it used to be surf and fish before school then rugby after school. At 17 I joined St George. Then when I was 27, in 2001, I had my neck injury which forced me to retire, so I took up coaching, still at St George. In 2009 I came to the Giants and the rest is history.

After Saint Helens, who knows? We might go to France.

“But we thought you were going back to Australia?”

We were. But Saint Helens came along. Any other club and I wouldn’t have entertained them. But with the Saints I left it up to the wife. She said OK, so that was the end of it!

As much as we like Holmfirth, the daily travelling along the M62 will probably mean that we shall move nearer to Saint Helens.

“What was the situation with Lunt and Moore?”

Lunty wanted more game time, which was understandable. We said that he could go on loan if another club came for him. We were desperately looking around for a replacement when Scotty left Widnes. We snapped him up.

“What are you doing about the problems on the right hand side of the defence?”

We’re working on it.

“Who was the biggest influence on your rugby career?”

My Dad. He was a very good player.

As far as coaching goes, probably Brian Smith, my first ever coach.

“Is the gap between NRL and SL players narrowing or getting wider?”

You’ve got to remember that over in Australia there is far more sunshine and warmer weather. This means that kids start playing out at a younger age and for longer. Their parents feel better inclined to take them to training and matches when the weather’s good rather than finding excuses to not go because it’s raining and snowing over here in the UK!

There’s also more money, especially from TV, over in Australia which attracts players instead of wanting to be soccer stars.

“What’s your philosophy in coaching?”

To be honest and fair. You’ve got to treat people as adults. Encourage players to improve on what they’re good at, not tell them off for their bad points.

“Have you seen many kangaroos?”

Yeah, lots.

“What’s your opinion on the salary cap?”

It’s great for the game.

“Do you think it’s fair that some clubs appear to flaunt it?”

No comment!

Success in soccer is bought. This isn’t the case in Rugby – there isn’t enough money for that. Instead success comes through having an excellent set of youngsters coming through. Just see how constantly successful the Giants will be in 4 or 5 years time. There’s an outstanding bunch of kids there now.

“which players will you be taking to Saints?”

None. It wouldn’t be fair on Paul or the club.

“What memories of Huddersfield will you take with you?”

Mainly how we now have a Yorkshire son! We arrived with 3 kids and will go home with 4!

“What do you think of the away kit?”

No comment!!

“What about this bad spell we’re going through. What’s going to happen?”

We’ll be OK as the season progresses, just wait and see.

There we are. A snippet of our evening with Nathan. He came across as a really friendly, honest, and likeable guy.

We shall most certainly miss him.

Forthcoming events:

• The Giant Olympics, a Race Night with a difference - July 13th. Entry will be free for members and £1 for guests. All our athletes require trainers at a cost of £2 each. Race Sponsors are also sought.

• In conjunction with the Legends, we shall be running coaches to the semi-final on July 15th: adults £10, children £5; £20 [£10] including 2 course meal. The club will also be running coaches. Book online now.

• Our guest speaker for August [7th] will be Jeff Wittenburg.

18th

EVENTS:

•  Prior to the London game we held a disco for youngsters. This was a resounding success with the youths both dancing to the music and also playing party games. Luke O’Donnell and Matty Dawson came along to meet both young and old. Needless to say that Big G was a star attraction!

•  The Giant Olympics event was a most enjoyable evening down at Turnbridge WMC. Whilst not as successful as the Reindeer Race Night held last December, nevertheless those who participated had a thoroughly good night.

•  Our guest speaker for August [7th] will be Jeff Wittenburg. Jeff joined for us in the 90s and played in the forwards. Whilst he is an Australian, Jeff saw sense and settled down in the town. He currently has a sandwich shop in Paddock.

•  Advance notice of our AGM. It will be on Tuesday 2nd October at Turnbridge. We shall be seeking new faces for fresh ideas.

WANTED:

•  The Wagstaffe Trophy is presented to the player whom the Supporters Association would least like to lose – for whatever reason. Scott Grix was last year’s winner. Voting forms [both paper and electronic]will be available soon so get your thinking caps on.

The Heritage Project is now in full swing with an excellent Steering Group. For this to be the success it deserves to be, lots of volunteers are needed to perform minor tasks. For example:

•  The amount of memorabilia is mounting. It will be put on display for people to view, but for a more permanent record it will be scanned and put on the website. Are you willing to take a few items home and scan them at your leisure?

•  People have memories! Are you willing to be trained to interview people so that these memories can be recorded for posterity? One morning for the training is all that is required plus intermittent sessions interviewing people.

•  How about learning how to archive material then putting this skill to use? There is an 1890 original copy of “Hurrah For The Claret And Gold”. It is currently in a fairly good condition, but in order for it to still be around in another 100 years it will need to be stored in more than a piece of paper!

•  If you have lots of time and want to really become involved, then why not join the Steering Group itself?

FINALLY:

•  Thanks, Nathan, for your efforts. At times the team was a joy to watch – the best footy played by a Fartown/Giants team for half a century. All the best for the future [apart from when we play Saints!].

25th

So, the Huddersfield Giants, just exactly what is it?

We all know about the team on the pitch [don’t we just!!].

We know that there is a coaching staff. We are aware of an administration section. Then there are us, the fans.

But is that it?

Well, there are a number of periphery organisations.

The Supporter Association is one of these. [A plug for Australian Jeff Wittenberg who was signed from Bradford and played for us in the late 90s. Hear what he has to say about the early SL days on Tuesday 7th August at Turnbridge WMC.] But you know all about us!

So who else is there?

Senior Giants.

A group which convenes on the first Wednesday of the month in the Fantastic Media Suite at the John Smith’s Stadium. There range of speakers is legendary from Martyn Sadler to Billy Thompson. The downside for most people is that they meet in the afternoon.

Legends, formerly the Vice Presidents.

People who meet informally but regularly organise coaches for travelling to away matches. In particular, they make a weekend of it for the longer journeys like London. They have an Annual Dinner Dance in Winter. This year it will be at Greenhead Masonic at a cost of £35 all in. There still are one or two vacancies.

Players Association.

With over 300 past players, the PA is probably the biggest such organisation in the world of rugby. The current President is Derek Wroe, who played for us in the 70s and 80s. Obviously joining this company has a certain entry requirement! but a group to be proud of nevertheless.

Junior Giants

A tremendously successful organisation a decade ago. Sadly only two of the organisers remain so events have been limited to the annual Christmas Party. However, plans are afoot for the re-emergence of this essential section.

So, all in all, fewer than 500 people are involved in the above organisation.

What if you want to be involved more but do not have the time nor inclination to attend meetings?

From the comfort of your own home you can join in on-line discussions. There are 3 major forums where Giants’ fans discuss issues surrounding the club:

www.RLFans.com

Probably the most popular as it represents clubs throughout the country. An extremely ‘lively’ place to post!

Click on ‘Forums - SL’ at the top and thence to us.

http://www.giantsrlfans.com & www.giants.co.nr

Two forums focussing solely of our club.

Have a read then have a chat. Become involved in some way. Join the Giant Family.

Reproduced by kind permission of the Huddersfield Examiner
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