Confident Leroy Cudjoe knows the Huddersfield Giants are ready to build on their Super League Leaders Shield success and move a step closer to Grand Final glory.
The 25-year-old heads into Thursday’s opening play-off clash against Wigan Warriors at the John Smith’s Stadium having just been named in the Super League Dream Team for the first time.
The England centre was joined in the imaginary top-flight side of 2013 by teammates Danny Brough, Eorl Crabtree, Brett Ferres and Shaun Lunt after helping Huddersfield secure a first top-of-the-table finish in 81 years.
And with the Giants riding the crest of a wave, former Newsome Panthers junior Cudjoe is confident his hometown club can secure a third victory of the season over the Warriors and move to within a first Old Trafford Grand Final appearance on Saturday, October 5.
“Wigan are used to playing in important play-off games, and this is obviously a very important one,” said Cudjoe.
“They’ve had their fair share of injuries over the past few months and have lost a bit of form, but this is the start of a new competition and we know tomorrow is going to be tough. You never get an easy game against Wigan!
“But the fact we’ve beaten them twice this season has shown we know how to beat them.
“That’ll give us confidence heading into the game, although we certainly won’t be over-confident. That would be asking for trouble against such a quality team.
“But things have been going great for us. We’ve just won the League Leaders Shield, five of us have been named in the Dream Team and we’re all feeling fresh after sitting out last weekend’s game at Bradford.
“We feel as a group that we’re ready to build on what we’ve achieved so far.”
And as a proud born and bred Huddersfield man, he’d love to achieve more success to help put his town even more firmly on the map.
“I love Huddersfield, it’s simple as that. I’m proud to call it my home,” he added. “You get an incredible feeling when you go around town and more and more people are recognising you and then wishing you the best of luck for the games ahead.
“Being part of a winning Huddersfield team is a great way to put a smile on the faces of people around here, and that’s special to me.
“And it’s also a very special feeling when I go to Town matches and the Town fans come up to me and wish me the best of luck. I was absolutely delighted when Town were promoted the other year – as were all the Giants – and I also know a lot of Town fans who want the Giants to do well.
“I know there’s been a fair bit of grief over the stadium shares issue, but now that’s been resolved I really hope the two clubs can keep getting stronger together.
“As a proud Huddersfield lad, that would mean the world to me, as well as to thousands and thousands of others in the town.”