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Huddersfield Giants unveil the next generation of players for the Claret and Gold

Part-time professional academy contracts for 11

Huddersfield Giants sign 11 players to part-time professional academy contracts for 2017. From left: Louis Senior, Innes Senior, Josh Pinder, Jack Flynn, Jack Duggan, Alfie Copley, Jack Cooper, Lucas Hallas, Tom Hugill, Connor Murphy, Ross Whitmore. Pic by John Rushworth.

Huddersfield Giants fans have been introduced to the next generation of players for the Claret and Gold.

The club – who are battling for Super League survival when they go to Hull KR on Saturday in the Middle 8s – have signed 11 players to part-time professional academy contracts for 2017.

Giants’ player performance manager Steve Hardisty says it’s recognition for a lot of hard work by them as individuals, by their parents and by their community clubs.

“It’s a celebration not only for the players but their parents as well, because they are obviously their biggest support network,” he said.

“They ferry the lads around and sort all logistics to help them get to the position they are in now, in regards to signing a part-time professional contract at the Giants.

“It is a recognition of their efforts as players and, at the same time, I think it will be recognition of all the hard work of the volunteers from the community clubs as well.

“Their respective community clubs have the players for far more time than we do in a week, and they lay the foundations to help them achieve their potential.”

Hardisty added: “It was a proud moment for the lads to be introduced to the Giants fans and we are really looking forward to working with them on a daily basis, and to see how much improvement they have in them as Giants academy players.”

So what do the class of 2017 have to look forward to at the John Smith’s Stadium?

Giants youth development staff Andy Kelly (left) and Steve Hardisty
Giants youth development staff Andy Kelly (left) and Steve Hardisty

“All 11 players are now back in education, which is coordinated by us, and so we had seven of the boys on the BTEC performance and excellence programme at The Zone, and four players doing A-Levels at Greenhead College,” explained Hardisty.

“Then their technical, tactical and physical training will start part way through next month, when they are introduced to their first real tough pre-season.

“So the contact time from scholars just doesn’t replicate what kind of time we have with them as senior academy players.”

Ten of the 11 signings were part of the Giants Scholarship programme and seven are from Kirklees.

Here are the players:

Jack Cooper: (East Leeds) An outside back and he completed his Year 11 Scholarship at the Giants. Previously he was part of the Wigan Scholarship programme in Year 10.

Alfie Copley: (Newsome Panthers) Has come through the Huddersfield Giants Scholarship programme and is a front row/back row forward.

Jack Duggan: (Shaw Cross Sharks) Came through the Huddersfield Giants Scholarship programme and is a full-back.

Lucas Hallas: (Shaw Cross Sharks) A centre or back row forward who completed his Year 11 Scholarship at the Giants. Previously he was part of the Wakefield Scholarship programme in Year 10.

Tom Hugill: (Castleford Lock Lane) Has come through the Huddersfield Giants Scholarship programme and is a front row forward.

Jack Flynn: (Shaw Cross Sharks) Came through the Huddersfield Giants Scholarship programme and is a hooker.

Connor Murphy: (Siddal) Has come through the Huddersfield Giants Scholarship programme and is a front rower.

Josh Pinder: (Shaw Cross Sharks) Represented England at scrum half in the Under 16s game against France. The half back has signed from Wakefield Trinity.

Innes Senior: (Newsome Panthers) Is the identical twin brother of Louis and has come through the Huddersfield Giants Scholarship programme. Innes is an outside back.

Louis Senior: (Newsome Panthers) The identical twin brother of Innes, he came through the Huddersfield Giants Scholarship programme. Louis is an outside back.

Ross Whitmore: (Castleford Lock Lane) Came through the Huddersfield Giants Scholarship programme and represented the scholars at half back.

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