BRETT HODGSON knows he is leaving the Huddersfield Giants in a far stronger position than when he arrived.
The inspirational skipper’s two-year stay at the Galpharm came to an end with Friday’s Super League semi-final defeat at St Helens.
But Hodgson is sure the players who will remain at Huddersfield for 2011 will have benefited significantly from being involved in Huddersfield’s first ever appearance at this stage of the competition.
“In my two years at the club I can see the progress that’s been made,” said Hodgson.
“The Giants are without doubt heading in the right direction and that’s positive for the fans, as well as the players. There’s no question every member of the squad will continue to get better under Nathan Brown and, with a good pre-season behind them, I’m sure the Giants will come out firing next year.
“Everyone was bitterly disappointed with the way things went on Friday, and I know how determined they are as a group to get back next year and do better.”
The Australian is now preparing to take up a two-year contract at Warrington Wolves.
But he admits it’s been tough coming to terms with no longer being a Giant.
“I’ve really had a ball here from day one and I’ve loved every single minute of my two years at Huddersfield. It’s been a great move,” he added.
“So I have to admit I felt absolutely shattered on Friday night knowing that it wasn’t only my last game for the Giants, but we missed out on reaching the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford.
“I really had set my heart on that being my last game for the club, but it just wasn’t to be.
“Having said that, I still thought we gave a good account of ourselves, although the final scoreline (42-22) didn’t really reflect how well we competed.
“But St Helens are a quality side, and when you make a mistake against them they make you pay.
“The major problem was our discipline. Our tackle technique slipped up high and we simply gave away too many penalties, which you just can’t afford to do against one of the top teams in such a big game.
“Hopefully, the boys will learn the lessons of this and not do it again.
“If that’s the case, then anything could happen in the future.”