Supporters' Association

Examiner Reports: February 2017

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Contents

1st
8th
15th
22nd

1st

It is 25 years since Fartown were 3rd Division Champions.

HGSA and the Players Association are planning events to celebrate this unique event [we are the only club to ever win the 3rd division!].

Some of you will already have heard rumours about a replica shirt! [As they say, "Watch this space!"]

To start the build-up, what follows is an extract from the 1995 'Centenary Brochure'.

A fine 36-7 win at Nottingham in the Yorkshire Cup followed by a hard-fought 22-18 away win at the newly-formed Scarborough Pirates saw Fartown kick-off the 1991/1992 season in confident mood.

So the Fartowners among the 2 117 crowd that turned up for their first home game of the season were buoyant following the excellent start to the campaign.

However, Batley hadn't read the script, and ended up taking the spoils 20-19.

On reflection this one result probably cost coaches Blacker and Jarvis their jobs, as criticism was levelled from some quarters at some of their tactical substitutions in the game. Brendan White and Captain Greg Shuttleworth were installed as acting coaches for the visit of Ryedale York to Fartown for the 1st round proper of the Yorkshire Cup.

At the interval Fartown were trailing 10-0, and in all honesty looked very ordinary.

Legend of Rugby League Alex Murphy was a guest at the game and at the request of the Fartown directors delivered a half-time pep talk to the team "just play basic rugby" he told them, and it must have done the trick as Fartown scored 28 points without reply to win the match 28-10 and put the Fartowners into the second round for the first time in seven years.

The Fartown board were now desperate to appoint Mr Murphy as their next coach but Keighley were also interested in his services.

Alex promised them an answer by the middle of the week.

Hopes soared as Murphy turned down Keighley's offer but Fartown still had an important match against Bramley to concentrate on that weekend.

Fartown managed to grind out another away win 14-9 lift them to a mid-table position.

Another plus was the return to the side of Wally Gibson after his spell down-under.

So the worst kept secret in Rugby League saw Alex Murphy sign a three-year deal with the Fartowners a few days before the important Yorkshire cup quarter-final tie against Wakefield Trinity.

Terry Flanagan was appointed assistant coach soon after and this was seen as another excellent coup for the club as Terry was held in high regard; being viewed by many as a possible future Great Britain coach.

There was a real buzz amongst the rugby league public of Huddersfield that week with the talk being of a new dawning for the Claret & Gold of Huddersfield.

However, Murphy was left in no doubt as to the enormity of the task ahead as Wakefield steamrolled Fartown 52-9.

Fartown certainly gave it their all, but question marks were raised about their fitness as Wakefield piled on the points in the last quarter of the game. One plus point was the attendance of 4,799 - the largest at Fartown for 11 years.

Ralph Rimmer, our one time MD and now the RFL's Chief Operating Officer, will be at Turnbridge next Tuesday. 7:30 for a 7:45 start. All are welcome.

Visit http://www.giantssupporters.co.uk to find out who our other guests will be in 2017.

Oops! We weren't the only 3rd Division Champions as stated last week!

The year after we topped the 3rd Division Keighley were crowned 3rd Division kings!

Thanks to Daz Eastwood for pointing out the error of my words.

What else have were learned recently?

That there is an abundant of talent in the junior ranks at the Giants.

Kruise Leeming, Nathan Mason, Sam Wood, and Jared Simpson are names we are all aware of.

But there are others in the first team squad who are ready to make a name for themselves.

You have to feel sorry for Jared yet again - injured when there is an opportunity to claim the fullback spot.

However, it has shown what a prospect Darnell McIntosh is. People who watch the academy have been raving about him for quite some time.

In the forwards there are Tyler Dickinson, Liam Johnson, Mikey Wood, and Matty English. All showing up well and chomping at the bit to play in the first team.

And then there is 'the other' Wardle, Joe.

Joe was nursed through 2017 with a serious knee injury and the hope is that he will gain some experience this season.

Will they all fulfil their potential? Will we be able to keep them all so that they achieve glory with us?

Time will tell.

Whilst on the subject of the academy.

Here's how you can watch them for free [they play at Lockwood Park]. Simply volunteer to collect the entry money!

Contact James Brammer at the club for more details.

Another thing we have learned is the honesty of coach Rick Stone.

It is like a breath of fresh air for a coach to tell it how it is. Long may it continue.

And we have learned how fit the team is.

Those of you who last season repeatedly said that the players were overweight and unfit have been proved right.

Those 6 games which were lost in the last 10 minutes? Well, the indications are that fitness will not be a contributing factor should that happen again this year.

And the biggest thing we, or rather the players, have learned is that they do not want the trauma and anguish of finishing in the bottom 4 again.

http://www.giantssupporters.co.uk is where you can find out all about the Supporters Association.

 

15th

Once upon a time, not very long ago, the Giants had a CEO called Ralph Rimmer. Ralph was also on the board which runs the stadium.

His current job has the title 'Chief Operating Officer' of the RFL.

Listening to Ralph talk to us at last week's meeting, all this would appear to mean is that he is the RFL's 'dogsbody' – and not in a detrimental way.

One of his jobs is being in overall control of referees, someone who picks up the phone on Monday mornings and listens to callers complaining about particular referees over the weekend.

This might seem an onerous job but, Ralph explained, after 4 weeks in the close season during which he is 'organised' by his wife, it is something he looks forward to!

Many of the questions he fielded were to do with Bradford.

Bradford stayed in the Championship because 1000 season tickets had been sold and it was unfair to disappoint those fans and disrupt their family life.

Fixtures had been printed so it was unfair on other clubs to disrupt their planning.

He constantly emphasised that Bradford had not been treated preferentially.

What he failed to answer, however, was why Bradford had not been punished in the same way as clubs such as Crusaders, who were relegated when they, on the surface, did what Bradford had done – and only once.

He told the interesting tale about Toronto.

Some years ago the owner had studied at Birmingham University. He watched a Super League match and fell in love with the game.

A few years later he approached Ralph and told him that he wanted Toronto to be in Super League. Ralph told him "No way".

The reply was "Well, the Championship then". Another definite "No".

"OK, we'll settle for Championship 1".

Ralph readily admitted that he left a chink in his armour by saying "I don't think that will happen".

As this was not the definite "No" that Ralph had thought it was, the owner pursued the matter.

Eventually Ralph had to say that the RFL agreed in principal, but it had to be agreed unanimously by all the Championship 1 clubs, fully expecting that this would not go through due to the fact that the players all have jobs.

When it was agreed unanimously, Ralph was told that the attitude of both the clubs and the players was "Well, would you rather go to Workington [no disrespect intended] or have an expenses paid weekend in Toronto?"!

There is a huge financial backing of the club in Canada. Games will even be shown on national television.

The latter deal was done in part because Canadians love reality programmes such as Big Brother.

So?

When Toronto spend their six weeks in this country, the players will live in a couple of houses with TV cameras posted throughout.

Compulsive viewing or not!!

Next month we have a former Fartown favourite, Paul Dixon.

Paul went on to play for Halifax [apologies to Brian Blacker for bringing that up] and Great Britain.

So come along and join us on Tuesday 14th March.

Tuesday 14th? Why not the 7th?

Because Town are at home, St Andrew's Road will be chocker, and Turnbridge will be packed.

Ditto in April.

http://www.giantssupporters.co.uk is where you can find out all about the Supporters Association.

22nd

Two items for your consideration this week.

Let's start with this coming Saturday, the 25th.

For anyone who has any interest in Rugby League, there is an outstanding event at the University's Heritage Quay.

The occasion celebrates 'Old Haunts - The Grounds of Rugby League' with a large part of the event concerning Fartown.

The programme is:

11.00 Fartown prior to World War 1

11.45 Douglas Clark, Fartown Hero

12.00 Ian Van Bellen and Tony Johnson remember

12.30 Spen Valley Clubs

12.45 Your memories

1.15 Break for lunch

2.00 Thrum Hall XIII 112 Years of Sporting Challenge

Well worth rearranging currently planned activities in order to attend.

The second item concerns an online questionnaire about HGSA – thanks are due to Daz Eastwood for putting it together. The following is a summary.

Are you a current Huddersfield Giants Season Ticket holder?
Yes: 89%; No: 11%.

How long have you been a season ticket holder?
[Years] 1: 6%; 1-5:21%; 6-10: 24%; 11-15: 20%; 16+: 28%.

Have you heard of the Huddersfield Giants Supporters Association (HGSA)?
Yes: 95%; No: 5%.

Are you currently a member of the HGSA?
Yes: 25%; No: 75%.

Are you aware of what the HGSA does?
Yes: 45%; No: 32%; Not sure: 23%.

There then followed an opportunity to give brief details of what people know about the HGSA

If not a member, would you like to or would you consider becoming a member of the HGSA?
Would like to become a member: 11%; Would consider becoming a member: 64%: Not interested in becoming a member: 25%.

This was followed by asking "what would stop you becoming a member of the HGSA?" followed by "what would encourage you to become a member of the HGSA?".

Do you or have you attended the HGSA's monthly meetings?
Yes: 16%; Yes, once or twice: 11%; No: 67%; What monthly meetings?: 6%.

Good and bad points of the meetings were enquired about.

Perhaps the most pertinent question was "As a supporter of Huddersfield Giants what would you like to see the HGSA do for you ?".

Are you satisfied with the 'product' the HGSA provide.?
Yes: 33%; No: 4%; Neither:57%.

Would you say the HGSA are easy to contact.?
Yes: 45%; No: 3%; Don't Know: 51%.

Finally, respondents were asked to leave any other feedback or issues they have on the HGSA.

If you have any comments about HGSA please forward then to Dave Calverley [Dave@PhotoLens.co.uk or 07887 878 425].

Next month we have a former Fartown favourite, Paul Dixon. So come along and join us on Tuesday 14th March [note change of date].

http://www.giantssupporters.co.uk is where you can find out all about the Supporters Association.

Reproduced by kind permission of the Huddersfield Examiner
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