GONE but not forgotten.
That’s certainly the case with Paul Reilly, as the former Giants’ favourite prepares to embark on a new Super League life at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
The 31-year-old full-back brought the curtain down on his 11-year career at his hometown club in the Giants’ first play-off appearance at Hull last month.
That was a fitting way for Reilly to end his Huddersfield association, having last season been in the Giants’ Challenge Cup final side against St Helens at Twickenham.
But now Reilly is ready to give something back to the sport that has served him so well for over a decade.
Although Reilly has moved to Wakefield, he is about to embark on a fledgling coaching role around the area when he first took up the game.
He has just taken charge of a newly-formed Under 16s side at Moldgreen – his club as a junior – and will also hold coaching classes at his former school, Rawthorpe, on a weekly basis.
It means, therefore, that Reilly will continue to be a familiar face on the Huddersfield rugby league scene – and he’s delighted.
“I’ve fancied doing this sort of thing for some time, and now it just all seemed to fall into place,” said Reilly.
“I always fancied coaching at Moldgreen, and the chance to take on the new Under 16s side really excited me.
“On top of that, I‘m also excited about going into Rawthorpe School, which is something Brian Tracey (Moldgreen secretary) set up.
“It’ll be great going back there.
“That’s where I started playing the game, as did a lot of others who went on to play professionally, like Marcus St Hilaire.
“So, hopefully, I can help unearth the future stars, although initially I would like to recruit players for the juniors sides at Moldgreen.
“My own Under 16s team, for instance, is still short on numbers, and working on that is a priority.
“We train at the DRAM Centre every Thursday night at 7pm, so if anyone fancies a go, just turn up. I’d be delighted to see you.”
But while Reilly admits this new challenge is exciting and giving something back to the sport is what he’s always wanted to do, he admits there’s another reason why he’s been so keen to be kept busy.
“For the last few years, I wondered how it would feel when I finally stopped playing for Huddersfield,” he added. “I new it would be tough.”
“Fortunately, I still don’t think it’s sunk in fully that I’ve left, and part of that is definitely because of the work I’m doing at Moldgreen.
“But every time I do think about the fact it’s over at the Giants, it does keep hitting home.
“I really did have such a fantastic time, and I know how lucky I have been to have done what I have done over the past 11 years.
“To be honest, I think the most emotional I was came at the end of our last home game against Wakefield.
“As soon as the hooter sounded I immediately went to acknowledge the fans. They’ve been great for me.
“I then went down the tunnel, with the intention of coming straight back out, and seeing as many supporters as I possibly could to thank them.
“But as soon as I walked off the pitch, it really hit me, and there’s no way I could have gone back out. I was in tears.
“And I have, of course, got my reputation to keep!
“I’ve seen a lot of fans since that day and admitted why I couldn’t go back out to see them. They understand.
“The more I think about it, the more I know I’m going to miss the fans here more than anything.
“I definitely can’t thank them enough for the way they have backed me over the years and, in particular, I’d like to thank Ida Rothery and the Flyers for being my player sponsor throughout my Giants career.
“But now it’s off to Wakefield, which is exciting.
“And I’m sure you’ll never guess which fixture I’m going to be looking out for first!”