RETURNING Giant Chris Thorman already feels as if he’s never been away.
Huddersfield’s former Super League captain is back in town as an assistant to head coach Paul Anderson after four years away.
In that time, the 32-year-old has seen a number of changes – all for the better.
And even though he’s spent the past few years at Hull FC and then York City Knights, where he rose to the position of player-coach, the former goalkicking half-back does have a sense of being ‘back home’.
The role is obviously a lot different. From being a player, he’s now a first-team assistant coach, with responsibility for the outside backs and half-backs, as well as being the new Under 19s coach.
But, apart from that, little has changed – and he couldn’t be happier about it.
“Finishing as a player and taking your first coaching job at a Super League club is a huge step,” said Thorman.
“But I’m really fortunate it’s at Huddersfield. I already know the place well and know a lot of the people, so the transition hasn’t been as dramatic as it could have been.
“I’ve worked with the coaching staff before and it’s also good to see some of my old teammates still knocking around, like Eorl Crabtree and Luke Robinson.
“At the end of the day, this is a family club, and that’s what every successful club possesses. We’re all best mates, and that bond is very special.
“The bond was there when I left, and it’s already obvious to me that the bond remains as tight as ever.
“In a sense, it feels as if I’ve never been away.”
But while Thorman feels very little has changed within the Giants’ environment, he does feel the make-up of the squad has altered quite considerably.
“What really struck me when we were doing the screening of the players last week was that we’ve got some big, big boys in this squad,” he added.
“We’ve got backs as big as forwards, and forwards who are even bigger!
“Personally, I find that exciting. When you’ve got backs with speed and skill and come in at 100kg, then you know you’ve got some pretty special players on board, and that’s what we’ve got here.
“I expect some of these younger boys will spend time with me in the 19s when the new season gets under way, and this role is something else that really excites me.
“To be honest, I know virtually nothing about the bulk of the players who’ll be in the 19s, but that means they’ve got a clean slate with me.
“I’ve always taken a great deal of pride in seeing a youngster you’ve helped at the start of their career come up through the ranks and establish themselves at first-team level, and that’s something I’ll be in a position to do again as Under 19s coach.
“For example, it’s been well-publicised that we’ve been unable to sign a half-back. I’d absolutely love to find a rough diamond and then help create a quality half-back out of them, because it would be an incredible feeling.
“Everything about my new role here is exciting, and I’m obviously delighted it’s at the Giants.”