Supporters' Association

Examiner Reports: January 2016

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Contents

6th
13th
20th
27th

6th

So, what were HGSA's highlights in 2015?

Robert Hicks's forthright views? Sammy Lloyd's ukulele? Neil Shuttleworth putting Liam Johnson through his paces? Our very own Morecombe and Wise – Van Bellen and Senior?

Our 2015 guests proved to be just as entertaining and candid as ever. Both Mick Beevers and Trevor Kaye deserve our thanks for their efforts in bringing us such quality – again.

The good people at the Magic Rock Brewery and Tap proved to be excellent hosts. The size of their operation at the Beck Road Industrial Estate shows what can be achieved when serving up a superb product.

Our raffle exceeded all expectations. We sold almost 2000 tickets, with the profits going to the further development of Rugby League at the youth level.

This success was in no small part due to the people who donated such mouth-watering prizes: Catalans Sports Tours, the Giants, Eric's Restaurant, LaLa's Restaurant, Brosters Farm Shop, and John Green for the beer.

Our Reindeer Race Night, whilst showing a healthy balance, was a slight disappointment attendance-wise. Still, everyone had a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Just think what our £400 'profit' would have been had 70 people attended!

And who would have thought that our very own Wagstaff Trophy winner would be included in Rugby League's World 13 – apart from us Giants supporters? Well done Jerry – and thanks to Brendan and Margaret Callaghan for their continued sponsorship.

Quiz nights, games nights, meet the players, Fans Forum, all in all outstanding value for money!

The one downside was the way in which Holmfirth Vinery treated us. They initially quoted us one price for our visit, they then tried to charge us double, and have since reneged on their promise to refund us.

And what lies in store for 2016?

HGSA's monthly Curry Socials will start in February. We have negotiated some good deals with lots of local restaurants. Watch this space.

There's a possibility that the Junior Discos will make a reappearance at some home matches. And we are desperately trying to organise events for older youths.

One thing which holds us back in providing more for supporters is the size of our committee.

We have a totally dedicated and hard-working bunch, but there are not enough spare-time hours to do all that we want to do. Could you help us out?

All in all, the £5 annual membership represents outstanding value for money. Sign up at http://www.giantssupporters.co.uk/Forms/Membership.html or contact Dave Calverley [07887 878 425].

On Saturday 16th January, there will be a Rugby League Collectors Fair at the University's Heritage Quay. It will run from 10:30 am until 1:00 pm.

Then on January 28th there is our Fans' Forum in the Fantastic Media Suite. The panel will consist of Paul Anderson, world superstar Jerry McGillvary, new signing Ryan Hinchliffe, and top referee Robert Hicks. Match day announcer Tim Burton will once again be our MC. Doors will open at 6:45 for a 7:00 start. Free for HGSA, Season Ticket holders, and accompanied children, £1 for everyone else. Come prepared with questions!

13th

So, what were HGSA's highlights in 2015?

Robert Hicks's forthright views? Sammy Lloyd's ukulele? Neil Shuttleworth putting Liam Johnson through his paces? Our very own Morecombe and Wise – Van Bellen and Senior?

Our 2015 guests proved to be just as entertaining and candid as ever. Both Mick Beevers and Trevor Kaye deserve our thanks for their efforts in bringing us such quality – again.

The good people at the Magic Rock Brewery and Tap proved to be excellent hosts. The size of their operation at the Beck Road Industrial Estate shows what can be achieved when serving up a superb product.

Our raffle exceeded all expectations. We sold almost 2000 tickets, with the profits going to the further development of Rugby League at the youth level.

This success was in no small part due to the people who donated such mouth-watering prizes: Catalans Sports Tours, the Giants, Eric's Restaurant, LaLa's Restaurant, Brosters Farm Shop, and John Green for the beer.

Our Reindeer Race Night, whilst showing a healthy balance, was a slight disappointment attendance-wise. Still, everyone had a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Just think what our £400 'profit' would have been had 70 people attended!

And who would have thought that our very own Wagstaff Trophy winner would be included in Rugby League's World 13 – apart from us Giants supporters? Well done Jerry – and thanks to Brendan and Margaret Callaghan for their continued sponsorship.

Quiz nights, games nights, meet the players, Fans Forum, all in all outstanding value for money!

The one downside was the way in which Holmfirth Vinery treated us. They initially quoted us one price for our visit, they then tried to charge us double, and have since reneged on their promise to refund us.

And what lies in store for 2016?

HGSA's monthly Curry Socials will start in February. We have negotiated some good deals with lots of local restaurants. Watch this space.

There's a possibility that the Junior Discos will make a reappearance at some home matches. And we are desperately trying to organise events for older youths.

One thing which holds us back in providing more for supporters is the size of our committee.

We have a totally dedicated and hard-working bunch, but there are not enough spare-time hours to do all that we want to do. Could you help us out?

All in all, the £5 annual membership represents outstanding value for money. Sign up at http://www.giantssupporters.co.uk/Forms/Membership.html or contact Dave Calverley [07887 878 425].

On Saturday 16th January, there will be a Rugby League Collectors Fair at the University's Heritage Quay. It will run from 10:30 am until 1:00 pm.

Then on January 28th there is our Fans' Forum in the Fantastic Media Suite. The panel will consist of Paul Anderson, world superstar Jerry McGillvary, new signing Ryan Hinchliffe, and top referee Robert Hicks. Match day announcer Tim Burton will once again be our MC. Doors will open at 6:45 for a 7:00 start. Free for HGSA, Season Ticket holders, and accompanied children, £1 for everyone else. Come prepared with questions!

20th

HOPES AND FEARS FOR THE 2016 RUGBY LEAGUE SEASON
From the HGSA Norwich Branch

The pre-season started very brightly. Brett Ferres produced a match winning performance in an England shirt. Ukuma Tai's wife produced another bouncing baby and the club welcomed 2 new arrivals from "down under". It was all very positive until news broke that Ferres was suspended and following investigation placed on the transfer list. Hard on the heels of that it was announced that Craig Huby had broken his wrist and would miss the start of the SL season. We now hear Ferres has been sold to Leeds Rhinos for an "undisclosed sum". As a club the Giants are indeed fortunate to have strength in depth in the forwards. Looking at the situation dispassionately we will not miss Ferres. The Giants played most of last season without him, still came third and were within one game of a Grand Final appearance. Let us hope the club uses the money (however much it was) wisely so some good can come out of a rather sorry episode.

The Giants will miss Craig Huby who is popular and a class player. I am sure all the fans wish him a speedy recovery. As is always the case in these situations one man's misfortune is another's opportunity. There are now openings for younger players to step forward and establish themselves. We want to see them and what they can do. It is therefore disappointing when there is an opportunity for the Giants to showcase their younger talent against Halifax the game is called off. In so doing Rugby League in West Yorkshire is plunged back into the 19th Century

According to the Examiner report Calderdale District Council, the owners of The Shay stadium, stopped the game from going ahead in what appears to be a high-handed and unilateral manner. It is also stated that the Council refused to allow the offices to be opened "out of hours" to advise people of the game's postponement. Is this sort of thing still going on in the 21st Century? We are not disputing the owner's right to close the stadium but we are commenting on the fact that Rugby League is a fast growing UK sport which is also played globally and that decisions as to whether or not a game goes ahead should be down to all the "partnership" parties. If it is to be called off it is unconscionable that facilities to communicate that decision are not made available. 3,000 money paying fans need to know!

So overall not a good start but what about the future? Rugby League is the people's game. Thanks to SKY it is more popular than ever. Last year Wigan took their SL game to the Den in Milwall. This paves the way. There should be at least one SL game a month in the capital and one in Birmingham. We all know RL is the greatest game and properly promoted outside of the North the crowds do and will come. The Huddersfield Giants should be at the forefront of this outreach to other parts of the country and in so doing gather up a whole new potential audience. People down South may not travel North to watch a game of RL but they will pay to watch say Huddersfield Giants v Warrington Wolves if it is held in a good venue closer to their homes.

Finally, what hope do we have for the future of the Giants themselves in 2016? Well the short answer is that the RL sky is the limit. There is no reason that the team cannot win at least one of the 3 trophies on offer this year. They have great players, coaching and back-up staff all led by great management. All the Giants have to do this year is believe in themselves, believe that they can win all their SL games, get to the finals of the Challenge Cup and Grand Final and triumph. 'Appen they will do just that! Let the town and the "out of town" fans get behind the Giants and support them to some great and memorable victories!

The Fans' Forum is on January 28th in the Fantastic Media Suite. Bring your questions for Paul Anderson, Jerry McGillvary, Ryan Hinchliffe, and Robert Hicks to answer.

On Tuesday 1st February, Chris Thorman will be our guest.

27th

Those of you who were at the Catalans game would have seen a pitch-side presentation. HGSA's secretary, Trevor Kaye, handed over a season ticket to Craig Gleadall.

Craig was one of the thousands who bought a raffle ticket in 2015 and is now the proud occupant of a seat in the Britannia stand. He is actually a good winner for he will be getting a seat for his son, a Newsome Panthers player.

Introduce them young and they will support for life!

After a couple of last minute panics, the Fans' Forum will go ahead almost as planned on Thursday.

Almost because, sadly, Jerry will not be there. He will be our representative at the launch of Super League XXI.

In his place will be Joe Wardle, whom, I'm sure, many of you will want to put questions to.

The remaining three places on the grilling table will be as previously advertised: Paul Anderson, Ryan Hinchliffe, and top referee Robert Hicks.

Doors to the Fantastic Media Suite will open at 6:45 so that a prompt 7:00 start can be made. [Entry is via the swimming pool entrance.]

For the second month running we shall have a returning guest to our meeting at Turnbridge. On Tuesday 2nd February, fans favourite and club coach Chris Thorman will be amongst us.

HGSA's inaugural Curry Night will be on Thursday 18th February. Further information will be drip-fed to you over the next few weeks!

However, it is anticipated that these will be open only to members of HGSA and their partners, so pay your fiver!!

As places will be limited, please provisionally book your place with Dave Calverley [da.calverley@PhotoLens.co.uk or 07887 878 425].

Have you bought 'Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants'?

What an outstanding read it is.

You don't have a copy?

Tough. All 650 books have been sold!

The Heritage Group is considering a reprint, so, to help them reach a decision, please register your interest via the website [www.HuddersfieldRLHeritage.co.uk] or with David Thorpe [01484 533378].

The University Archive section will be having a 'Do You Recognise Them' day on Saturday 6th February. At the Heritage Quay, there will hundreds of photographs of Rugby League players displayed.

As most of those pictured are unknown, why not pop along and see if you can name some?

Reproduced by kind permission of the Huddersfield Examiner
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