PHIL VEIVERS will always have a massive soft spot for Huddersfield.
Yes, it’s true the Salford City Reds head coach has this week been looking to do everything within his power to plot the Giants’ downfall in tomorrow’s Super League Magic Weekend clash at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium (2.00).
But when he looks at where the Giants are now compared to back in 1996 when he arrived at the Galpharm from St Helens, he admits it’s with a sense of some satisfaction.
Back then, Huddersfield were an ambitious club in the second tier of British professional rugby league and now, of course, the Giants have emerged into one of the most respected Super League powers.
And Veivers admits he’s been delighted to see that progress.
“Huddersfield Giants have been a real success story in the modern game,” said Veivers, who made his Giants debut off the bench in a 32-22 home triumph over Hull FC on May 4, 1996..
“When I look at where the club is now compared to when I first arrived, it’s absolutely fantastic, and I have to say I’m delighted about it.
“Even though it’s over 10 years since I left the club, I don’t regard it as that far in the distant past.
“I’ve got a lot of happy memories of my time at the Giants and some of them are still pretty fresh in my mind.
“We won the Premiership final in 1997 when we beat Hull at Old Trafford, and that was a very special day. If my memory serves me correctly, some bald-headed dude was the Giants captain at that time!
“That win got Huddersfield into Super League for the first time, which made it a very special time in my career.
“Ok, the 1998, 99, 2000 and 2001 seasons were very tough for us in Super League because we didn’t win too many games.
“But those years were still the birth of the Giants in Super League and there’s been some great progression through Tony Smith, Jon Sharp and Nathan Brown, and I’m sure it’ll continue to progress under Baloo (Paul Anderson).