Former Fartowner Simon Kenworthy would love to see the Giants achieve Grand Final success – even though he’s not a fan of the play-offs.
The 50-year-old – a goalkicking loose forward in his playing days – believes the game has moved on immeasurably since he donned the claret and gold from 1985 to 1993.
But he doesn’t feel the play-offs – an idea pinched from Australia – provide a realistic reflection of the season as a whole, despite the fact he would love owner Ken Davy and the supporters to be rewarded with success at Old Trafford in October.
“I would love to see the Giants do well in the play-offs because no-one wants to see them labelled also-rans,” said Kenworthy, a quantity surveyor and award-winning builder who is still involved in sport as captain of Meltham Cricket Club in the Drakes Huddersfield League Premiership.
“They have been so close for so many years that it’s now got to the stage where they can hopefully get to a final and do well, so they can’t be called also-rans any more.
“I thought it was fantastic when they won the League Leaders Shield last season, but people don’t remember that.
“For me, it’s a better achievement to win something for all your season’s performances than banking on the last few games.
“That’s how it used to be. If you performed consistently you were at the top of the league, you’d done well and you got the rewards.
“For me, to put all the emphasis on the play-offs is not the way I think it should be done – but then I don’t make the decisions.
“What I would say about the play-offs is that once you are in them, everyone has a fighting chance.
“It’s just like the Cup. You can be bottom of the league but still come out and win a knockout game on any given day.
“If you are ‘up’ for the game then you can win, and we’ve seen that time and again in the play-offs and Grand Finals.
“So the Giants are going to have their opportunity and it would be great to see them do well.”
Kenworthy had nine seasons with Huddersfield, some of them dark days in the club’s history, but he remembers those times fondly and with a knowing smile.
“I had one year as AN Other and SO Else under Brian Lockwood and nine altogether,” he recalled.
“When I look back I truly enjoyed it. The standards weren’t as good but it was different.
“People say to me ‘what would you have done in your day if you’d had big Eorl Crabtree running at you’ – and I just answer that we would have hit him!
“We would have tackled him hard and then we wouldn’t have gone off for a 10-minute rest.
“If you hurt the opposition, that’s how you liked it to be, but we didn’t have the luxury of going off and having a rest.”
Kenworthy accepts rugby league is a different animal after two decades of Super League and he just hopes the Giants can increase their fan base in coming years.
“The game is far better, it’s improved viewing for people and more and more are getting interested – but I just wish they could get more people down to the John Smith’s to watch the Giants,” he said.
“They are a very good side thanks to the money Ken Davy has spent and, hopefully, people can repay that faith by going down and supporting.
“It would be great if they could do well this season in the play-offs and, hopefully, get to the Grand Final.”