HUDDERSFIELD Giants coach Paul Anderson is hoping fans turn out in force to watch the cream of the club’s young talent in action tomorrow.
Mid-table Huddersfield Under 19s host Widnes Vikings at Huddersfield YMCA’s Laund Hill complex (2.00) confident of making it eight wins from 15 Academy starts.
Coach Chris Thorman ’s side warmed up for the contest with a solid 34-22 triumph at Hull KR, while Widnes were losing 46-20 at home to Wigan Warriors at the same time.
“Overall, they’re going good,” said Anderson.
“The side’s form has been a bit up and down this year, but that’s through no real fault of their own.
“Because of the number of players we’ve had playing for Championship clubs on dual registration, it’s meant it’s been impossible to field a settled side at Academy level.
“But tomorrow we expect the side to take to the field to show hardly any changes to that which won at Hull KR last week, so we’re confident the boys will put in a strong performance.
“With no Super League game this weekend, it would be nice to see our fans coming out in force and lending their full support to the 19s. I’m sure they’ll be encouraged by what they see.”
One notable omission from tomorrow’s side is young Super League squad man Peter Aspinall.
The back-row forward, who made his first-team debut at Salford City Reds earlier in the season, suffered an ankle injury at Hull KR and could miss the rest of the season.
“It’s a big blow for Pete, and we feel for him. He’s been developing really well in the full-time environment,” added Anderson.
“He underwent surgery on Wednesday morning and isn’t expected to return until the back end of the year.
“We’re obviously hoping he makes a quick recovery, although we are looking at the possibility of being patient with him for the rest of this season and waiting for him to kick-on next year.
“Peter would certainly have played tomorrow, as would Josh Johnson if he hadn’t been going so well on dual registration at Batley.
“He won’t be playing for them in the Northern Rail Cup this weekend – he’s a young man who’s been playing against grown men over the past few weeks and will benefit from a weekend off – but he is available for them for next Thursday’s Championship game against Sheffield Eagles.”
As well as the Under 19s, the Giants Under 16s side are also in action tomorrow at Widnes (2.30).
Giants Under 19s: Connor, Simpson, Hunt, Croisdale, Shoel, McComb, Battye, Graham, Candlin, Miller, Mason, Blagbrough, Dickinson, Morris, Wood, Carlos, King, Leeming, Smithies.
Giants Under 16s: Sykes, McIntosh, Moore, Stringer, Bartle, Brown, Fleming, Moore, Moules, Syme, Matthews, Gledhill, English, Redfearn, Wood, Smith, Morris, Farrell, Senior.