HUDDERSFIELD Giants have succeeded where St Helens failed in securing the signature of top National League I forward Paul Smith from Rochdale Hornets.
The 26-year-old former Great Britain amateur international will move to the McAlpine for the start of Super League IX.
He will join on a two-year contract after rejecting an offer from London Broncos.
But it is the fact Super League champions St Helens were so keen to sign him a year ago that clearly underlines his potential.
Had it not been for a major hitch in settling on a transfer fee between Saints and Rochdale, second rower Smith would already have made a top-flight mark at Knowsley Road.
But having now joined the Giants, he has no regrets about missing out on a move to play under coach Ian Millward.
"I was devastated when the deal fell through at St Helens last year," reflected the Hull-born player, who weighs in at 6ft 3in and 16st.
"Assistant coach Jon Sharp was involved in the talks with them and I was highly impressed with what he had to tel me about the game.
"So when I heard he was coming to be head coach at Huddersfield I was excited at the prospect of having the chance to work under him.
"When it boiled down to it, the fact Jon was in charge swung it Huddersfield's way."
Smith has, however, already had a taste of life at the McAlpine - as a member of the Rochdale side beaten by the Giants in the NFP a year ago.
"We got hammered that day, as did many," he added.
"So I've obviously played against the likes of Stanley Gene, Darren Turner and Paul March, and I'm not surprised players like that have gone so well in Super League this year.
"The McAlpine Stadium is absolutely magnificent and the atmosphere, even with a couple of thousands fans in the place, is fantastic. I'm already very excited at the prospect of joining such a great club as Huddersfield."
* Coach Tony Smith reacted quickly today to rubbish weekend reports that Giants star and Super League leading tryscorer Brandon Costin would be following him to Leeds Rhinos for next season.