Supporters' Association

Fans' Forum 2019

History of Fartown.

The earliest record of a football match being played in the Huddersfield area is in 1848, when a team of men from Hepworth took on a team of men from Holmfirth near Whinney Bank in Holmfirth. Hepworth won a ...

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Club Honours

The club's first cup victory was in the 1889-90 season when the Yorkshire Cup was won for the first time.

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I'm sure that everyone who attended this week's Fans' Forum went away thoroughly satisfied from both entertainment and informative points of view.

The panel consisted of Andy Kelly [in charge of youth development], Jermaine McGillvary, Matty Shaw [journalist with RL World], and Richard Thewlis.

Matty said that the Giants were the only club which allowed him to attend a pre-season training session.

His respect for our athletes went up ten-fold as a result of taking part.

At the end of the day Bumper [Mark Andrews] invited him back for another session where the intensity would be 10 out of 10 as compared to that day's 7 out of ten.

Matty politely but firmly declined, saying that he ached for days in every part of his body!

He has an extremely good relationship with the Giants from a publicity point of view. Some clubs – and he did name them! – won't allow him anywhere near their players.

The one critical area where the Giants, and most other clubs, could improve is by employing an out-and-out social media expert. But Matty agreed that this is difficult with the financial struggles amongst all Super League clubs.

Andy was asked about the Academy's targets for 2019.

2018's were to have 3 more wins than 2017 giving the team 10 wins, and finish 6th.

The fantastic group of players bought into this – and other training methods – so much that they finished 4th, losing out in the play-offs to Wigan, the eventual winners.

2019 would be similar. To train and play with intensity with the goal of being more consistent and improving on 2018.

If we fielded 17 3rd year [18 year olds], then a top 3would be a certainty. However, the club's goal is to bring on a steady stream of players, meaning that the Under 19 Academy consist of 16, 17, and 18 year olds.

Success is based on how the players respond in the 1st team.

Our Academy is about developing players and bringing them through.

He praised HGSA for raising the profile of Academy games and for the role we play on match days at Lockwood Park.

And the players appreciate the larger crowds, making them really feel to be playing at home.

Jerry has played through ankle pains for the past3 or 4 seasons. Consequently he had a double ankle operation at the end of last season.

Sunday's match was the first time he has either trained or played with the rest of the players since then.

And he came through with no ill effects – thankfully.

The season is too long from a player's point of view.

However, with no body representing them, the players have no voice. The RFL do not seem to care about them.

Imagine playing in the 2 Easter games which go to extra time then having another match 4 days later.

It is bad for internationals, who have a fairly big public profile, but for youngsters it can be devastating, possibly reducing their playing career.

It is different in Australia where the players have an over-riding say in how the game is run.

When Richard was asked about the lack of information reaching the fans, he inferred that it would be a full time job reacting to every item of alternative news which appears.

Someone can say something on social media and it gains a life of its own.

For example, if Jerry goes for a coffee with a Wakefield friend then it becomes apparent that he's signing for Wakefield!

Almost everything written on social media is untrue.

When asked about Danny Brough, did he go willingly or was he pushed, Richard said that Danny's manager told him that Danny was going to Wakefield for 2 years at the end of 2019. It was a done deal.

Could he go now?

Simon was asked and he immediately said 'Yes'.

Richard did emphasise that the Giants and Wakefield enjoy a very good co-operative relationship.

With regards to Scott Grix, it transpired that whilst watching the Academy at Lockwood Park, Scott made a throw away comment that he would like to get into coaching.

Our coaches approached Richard and a deal was struck.

Whilst Scott would like to play, he will only be registered as a player in an emergency.

Richard mentioned many interesting facts – too many to publish here, sory.

For every L club, the number of season ticket holders is approximately one tenth of their Twitter followers.

Almost every SL club's attendances are falling year on year – even champion Wigan's.

In general, the demographic of fans – including us - is one third are women; the majority of fans are between 45 and 60 years of age, though this is slowly falling.

To counteract the slow demise of Super League, the SL clubs decided to take control of their own destiny.

They unearthed, to their horror, the extent to which Rugby League was being mis-managed.

Whilst the majority of the money in the game comes from Super League's television rights, SL has to pay the RFL for services such as referees, the amateur game, etc.

Super League has 2 years to put its house in order so that a good television rights deal can be secured in 2020.

At the end of the evening, Zoe McGuinness and Janice Hart presented Jerry with his Wagstaff Trophy.

As you can appreciated, space does not permit reporting all that was said on Monday.

The panel was excellent. The audience was huge – probably the largest ever – and appreciative. HGSA's organisation was superb. And the MC, Tim Burton, was out of this world!

If you weren't there you certainly missed out! But you have an opportunity to hear how pre-season is going by coming along to Turnbridge WMC next Monday when Simon Woolford will be our guest.

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