Huddersfield Giants star Eorl Crabtree is expecting a very positive reaction to the arrival of Andy Kelly in the coaching role at the club.

The 55-year-old former Wakefield Trinity coach and Giants Head of Youth Performance stepped up after last week’s sacking of head coach Paul Anderson.

Kelly took the reins, aided by first team coach Chris Thorman, for the 31-30 Super League

victory at Salford City Reds and seems set to be in charge when the Giants take on his hometown club Wakefield in the Challenge Cup on Thursday night.

“The good thing about Andy (Kelly) is that he is a very positive bloke,” said Crabtree.

“He is one of those people who is very good to be around. The way he talks before games and on the training ground, he is the one who delivers the message in a by positive manner.

“Chris (Thorman) is probably more of the hands on coach taking care of that side of things, and together they work well as a team.

“Obviously the Salford game was their first and it came very quickly, so there will be a few tweaks that they will want to make.

“But in the end we won the game, perhaps not quite in the manner we would have liked towards the end, but the win certainly lifted everyone.”

The 33-year-old former England prop admitted that the departure of Anderson, and his assistant Kieron Purtill, had come out of the blue.

“Paul going was a surprise because we walked in to training and everything was set up as usual but Baloo (Anderson) was there saying goodbye to everyone,” said Crabtree.

“Perhaps it was not a surprise in the sense with the way results have gone this season and these things do happen.

“I have been around a long time and I have out-lasted a fair few coaches at the club now.

“But Baloo will be back in rugby league. I would imagine he will have a break, but hopefully he will be back in the game pretty soon because he is a very good coach.

“Kieron (Purtill) was already moving to Leigh at the end of the season and he will do a great job there.”

However, the success at

Salford was also a very poignant one for the Giants as they paid tribute to teenager Ronan Costello who died after injuries sustained playing for the Academy team against the Red Devils’ youngsters.

“It was by far the most harrowing week we have had at the club by a long way,” said Crabtree.

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“It has been one of the strangest weeks I have ever been involved with and I have had a few over my 17 years at the club.

“I don’t think it is something I would ever want to go through again.

“What happened with Ronan was just such a shock for me personally and a huge shock for the club.

“The upset for the families and for the 19s squad has been huge, but as a club and as a sport I feel that everyone is just trying to support one another which is fantastic to see.

“It was not difficult to go out and play at Salford.

“There was a lot of emotion involved, but sometimes as a player things get to a level where you just want to go out and play.

“All the boys were ready for the game against Salford and to walk out and stand with the 19s, all the boys who had played along side Ronan, was just even more of an inspiration.

“We all felt that it was very important to put in a good performance and play with smiles on our faces and do Ronan and his family proud.

“We did the best we could and we got the win.”

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