HUDDERSFIELD Giants have snapped up nine members of their scholarship programme on professional contracts.
Joel Farrell, Jack Blagborough, Elliot Gorman, Peter Aspinall, Ryan Barnaby, Jake Shoel, Kyle Mayaal, Josh Johnson and Nathan Mason have all pledged their immediate future to Huddersfield as they take their first major steps to embarking on a Super League career.
The players are currently furthering their development on the historic scholarship tour of Australia – their first match is against a North Coast Select side later today – and will commence their first professional contract when they return to form the spine of the club’s Under-18s Academy grade in 2011.
The signings are a further indication of the progress the Galpharm club are making on the junior front, with Head of Youth Performance Damian McGrath delighted with the news.
“We’re delighted with the signings, and we are confident that within three or four years we will have a terrifically talented group of players,” he said.
“Hopefully, by that stage, a good number of those players will be in our first-team squad.
“We are a place of interest to most good young players and we are very selective on who we introduce.
“We have a network of volunteers and scouts who put so much time and effort in and it’s testament to their work that we have got to this stage.”
Farrell is the most well-known of the youngsters, with the centre the son of former Giants and Leeds star Anthony. He hails from Newsome Panthers, as does prop Blagborough.
Utility back Gorman is from Shaw Cross, while Aspinall is a convert from Huddersfield RU club, Barnby is from Featherstone, Mason and Mayaal from Wigan and Shoel and Johnson from Oldham.