BUSY Giants coach Jon Sharp will this week begin to finalise his squad to face Halifax in the Infirmary Cup showdown at The Shay on Monday, January 2 (3.00).
It's the opening game of a five-match pre-season programme for the Super League club, with fixtures against Bradford Bulls, Castleford Tigers, Wigan Warriors and Batley Bulldogs to follow.
For this reason, it's widely anticipated that the January 2 squad will be a combination of fringe first-team players and top Academy performers.
Among the Super League squad members in action could be Thomas Hemingway (pictured right), Bolu Fagborun (pictured left) and Simon George, while top Academy signing Matthew Whittaker from Leeds Rhinos may also be in the frame.
As usual in the annual fixture, the Giants are likely to come up against a Halifax side boasting many of the club's senior players.
And Sharp believes this makes the game a highly useful exercise for his younger players.
"This is a very important match for all those who play in it," said Sharp.
"It's the chance for some of the younger players to test themselves out against good opposition.
"But it will also provide everyone with an indication of how productive pre-season training is proving to be."
Prices for The Shay showdown have now been announced and they are £10 for adults, £6 concessions and £3 juniors.
The Flyers are running coaches to the game from the St Patrick's Centre, picking up at 2pm. The fare is £5, with tickets from Tone Iredale Travel.
The travel group have also announced they have coach season tickets available for £100. It includes all 13 Super League away games, apart from the game against Les Catalans in France.
If interested, contact Ida Rothery on 01484 300648.