Supporters' Association

Examiner Reports: January 2017

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Contents

4th
11th
18th
25th

4th

At the start of every new season, every sports team comes out with the comment "This is going to be our year".

The Giants are no exception.

Apart from this year, that is.

There is a sense of realism and truthfulness being spoken at the moment.

Players and coaches are openly stating that this time last year they were not in the shape that they should have been and that this year they are.

So why should we believe them this time around?

Because of the genuine way in which these comments are made when spoken face to face and in group situations.

Take this week's meeting on Tuesday.

Jerry was our guest so that he could be presented with his personal Wagstaff Trophy.

Those of you who have ever had a conversation with Jerry know that he would struggle to say anything that is not the truth. He is a real honest, down to earth guy with a heart of gold.

He told us how extremely lucky he is to be both playing rugby for the Giants and representing his country at the sport he loves.

He is eternally grateful to Nathan Brown for the way in which Nathan nurtured him in his early career.

Jerry did not always agree with the way that he was palmed out to other clubs to learn his trade, nor the way in which he was selected and then left out of the team. But he retrospectively agrees with the way he was treated.

Every time that a new milestone is reached, Jerry is on the phone to Nathan to thank him for all that Nathan has done for him.

"I'm just an ordinary guy from Bradley who has dropped lucky.

"I was an aimless teenager until Nathan got hold of me."

Jerry's reputation for being tight with money is due to the fact that he plans ahead, knowing that a rugby career is short. He wants himself and his family to have a comfortable life once it ends.

This is something he tries to instil into younger players, advising them to put money aside to buy a house and not fritter it away on flash cars.

He openly admits that he doesn't like being flogged [not literally!] at training, but appreciates it on match days!

This level of intense training did not happen last year. And as a result, those who have not put the effort in have been allowed to leave the club — not that everyone who has left can be tarred with this brush.

Should you want to hear more home truths about the club, then come along to the Fans Forum on Tuesday17th January. Neither coach Rick Stone nor MD Richard Thewlis are known for hiding their opinions when asked direct questions.

To answer media related questions we shall have Pete Barrow on the panel.

And to complete the line-up there will be one of our star players. Watch this space to see who it will be.

So come along to the Fantastic Media Suite with your questions. Doors will open at 7:00 ready for a prompt 7:15 start. HGSA members, season ticket holders, and accompanied youngsters will have free admittance, with a small charge for everyone else.

And bring some money, for we shall have a patio heater [worth £200] and the first alternative shirt off the press [signed by the team, naturally] which we want to get rid of!

Visit http://www.giantssupporters.co.uk for all you need to know about HGSA.

11th

An update on what is happening on the heritage front.

The latest project is to record all the material that has been made available in recent times, including that left by the sad death of David Gronow.

There are hundreds of photographs and lots of books and scrapbooks.

The quickest way of doing this is to photograph the items, scanning them would take far too long. The photographs will be stored in jpeg format and the books will be converted to pdf.

Once this has been done, the photographs need to be renamed – a time-consuming task if ever there was one!

Categorising also takes place: team, players, club, amateur, etc. And then into eras: pre-WW1, WW1 to WW2, WW2 to SL, and SL.

They will then be uploaded onto the project's website, www.HuddersfieldRLHeritage.co.uk.

Rugby League memorabilia events are visited where surplus material is offered for sale to RL collectors.

The chronological numbering of every player to have represented the club since 1895 is nearing completion.

Another time-consuming task.

At first sight this may appear to be a fairly simple job but consider all the various possibilities:

Is AB Tonbon the same player as AB Torbon [fictitious names] when written in scrawling handwriting?

There really were two A Wilsons playing at the same time – but that was easy because it was in living memory. What about when it happened a hundred years ago?

Who were AN Other, SO Else, A Triallist? Did they play one off games or did they actually sign? And how many times was AN Other used for the same person? In fact, did he appear on team sheets using all three aliases?

Phew!

Anyone fancy doing 1864 to 1895???

HGSA is holding an auction.

The club have kindly let us have the very first, new alternative shirt off the production line. It has been signed by the players.

Would you like it?

Then make a bid on our Facebook page [search for Huddersfield Giants Supporters Association] or contact Daz Eastwood [07952 043 794].

The current high bid is £150!

The winner will be announced at next Tuesday's Fans Forum.

It will be in the Fantastic Media Suite at the John Smith's Stadium [swimming pool entrance].

The doors will open at 7:00 in readiness for a prompt 7:15 start.

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

18th

"Luke Robinson's testimonial match against Bradford on Sunday is ON!" announced Richard Thewlis part-way through Tuesday's Fans Forum.

Richard went on to add that all the money from the game will go to Luke's testimonial fund, so we have to make sure that as many people as possible attend the match.

Richard was asked by our Master Of Ceremonies, Tim Burton [our match day announcer], about season ticket sales. He was extremely pleased that we now have more than 1500 new season ticket holders this season.

When he redirected the question to the audience, he was also gratified that everyone present had bought a season ticket.

With regard to the match day and walk-up prices, Richard stated that, whilst he personally was a 'Sunday man', nothing had worked in trying to increase Sunday attendances.

In the 3 years prior to 2017, the Giants had the best home record of every Super League club. Consequently the Chairman [Ken Davy] has decided that things must change and Fridays be given a chance.

Very few people attend matches and pay at the turnstile so there is no point in reducing the price. This is true of all Super League clubs.

However, there will be occasions when tickets will be sold in advance for groups of matches at a special price. This will apply to the first 2 home games against Salford and Wakefield.

The issue of Woodfield Park was raised.

The MD stated that a planning application had been presented to Kirklees Council and appeared in last Friday's Examiner.

However, the cost of the project was astronomical. But, there have been many enquiries from other clubs – rugby league and union, tennis, archery, etc – so there was a possibility of grants being available to help with completion.

Comment was made about the poor coverage in the Examiner and why the club did not utilise the paper, especially considering the exposure Huddersfield Town get.

Richard said that this was not the fault of the Giants. He thought that it was possibly down to the cuts made at the paper. As an example, numerous calls and e-mails were sent to the paper about the signing of Adam O'Brien and nothing, initially, came of it. One phone call to Radio Leeds and Adam was being interviewed within 5 minutes.

Next week read about what Rick Stone and Michael Lawrence had to say.

Thanks are due to everyone who has donated prizes recently. The raffle was drawn at half time, keeping Bruno very busy drawing out the winning tickets. It raised well over £100.

The club donated the very first alternative shirt off the printing press as a prize. It was signed by the team.

We decided that we would auction it. The successful bidder, Stephen Thomas, was presented with the shirt by Daz Eastwood at the end of the forum.

Our next guest on the 7th February will be Ralph Rimmer, formerly our MD and now the RFL Chief Operating Officer.

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

25th

Continuing our report on the Fans Forum, we now turn to Rick Stone and Michael Lawrence.

There was a vast number of questions to Rick concerning the fitness of the players.

Rick acknowledged that it was mainly the last 10 minutes which let us down last season. This year the players have got to know the hills around the town in great detail and there should be no problem keeping going for 80 minutes!

He continued that the squad consisted entirely of people who wanted to play for the Giants and were committed 100% to the training regime. This was greeted with loud applause from the assembled throng.

With regard to where we would finish in the league, Rick was less precise. The top 8 was the immediate goal rising to the top 4 as the season progressed. He is seeing this season as a rebuilding one.

One lady asked Rick if Bruno [Michael Lawrence] was the most underrated player in Super League. The questioner turned a bright shade of red when Rick asked her to stand up!

"Yes. If we had a team of Brunos we would have no problems whatsoever. He is the complete professional."

When asked for his thoughts on God's own county, Rick said that he was impressed – naturally!

When asked which coach had been the biggest influence on his career, Michael immediately answered "Nathan Brown". It was Nathan who gave him the opportunity of showing what he could do in the first team.

That was more or less ten years ago, and he was hoping that the RFL will grant him a testimonial.

The turnover of players this close season has been the biggest ever by the Giants. Bruno was asked how this affected the team in the way that it plays.

A lot of players in Rugby League, especially Super League, know each other so when moving to a new club it is usually easy settle in. With regard to the style of play, it is part of the professional's life to learn how to adapt quickly.

Thanks go to the panel [Richard Thewlis, Rick Stone, and Michael Lawrence] for answering questions so openly and honestly. Tim Burton, our MC for the evening, did a sterling job keeping the panel in order and questions flowing.

At Luke Robinson's testimonial on Sunday, Nathanial Wood, representing HGSA, presented Luke with a cheque for £1000 raised through our annual raffle.

As if it weren't enough to be able to ask our MD and head coach searching questions, your next opportunity to 'do a Jeremy Paxman' will be on Tuesday 7th February.

Huh?

Ralph Rimmer, our one time MD and now the RFL's Chief Operating Officer, will be at Turnbridge. 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.

Reproduced by kind permission of the Huddersfield Examiner
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