FORMER Huddersfield Giants hero Brad Drew has thanked the Super League club for helping him take a major step towards his coaching dream.
When the highly-popular hooker returned to Huddersfield for a second one-season spell in 2010, the Australian was handed the dual role of player and Under 20s coach.
It was a deal that helped Drew take a first decisive step on the coaching ladder.
The 37-year-old wasted little time making his mark, and within months of returning Down Under he had been handed an RL development role with the Australian NRL, based at the Penrith Panthers Stadium.
And this year he was appointed the head coach of the Australian Institute of Sport Under 17s squad, taking over from legendary Warrington coach Brian Johnson.
His first role has been to take charge of the current five-game tour of England, France and Wales, which comes to an end this weekend.
That gave Drew the chance to call in at the Huddersfield club and say a massive ‘thank you’ to the staff who played a key role in keeping his coaching dream alive.
The popular former Canberra Raider also had the chance to visit his old friends around town and put the wheels in motion for a family trip back to West Yorkshire in the not-too-distant future.
“Being able to catch up this week with people around the area has been fantastic,” said Drew, whose family lived in Meltham during their six years in England.
“Seeing so many of my old friends in the village was absolutely fantastic. It felt as if I’d never been away.
“Paying a visit was always very high on my agenda, as was going to the stadium.
“I was always very keen for the AIS squad to see a Super League club train, and the Giants was the obvious option.
“It was a chance for me to say ‘thanks’ for what they did to me during my time at the club.