FIT-AGAIN Giants full-back Paul Reilly is confident the news Jon Sharp will take over as head coach next season will provide added impetus to the club's Super League play-off push.
Reilly has already declared himself fit to return to action at home to Widnes Vikings on Sunday (5.30) after missing the 30-16 defeat at Bradford Bulls with an ankle injury.
That's a huge tonic to Huddersfield at a time when injuries are hitting Tony Smith's small squad hard, with the latest major blow coming with the news that Jon Grayshon is ruled out for the rest of the season with a broken leg.
But Reilly believes the imminent arrival of Sharp has provided a far bigger boost and helped ease the disappointment of Smith's departure to Leeds at the end of the season.
"We were all gutted when we first heard Tony would be leaving," said long-serving Reilly.
"But I think we were all equally as gutted by the negative reaction by some fans to his decision to leave.
"Tony's a great coach and, apart from chairman Ken Davy, has done more than anyone to make things happen at Huddersfield.
"He's also worked wonders with my own game.
"But we don't blame him for going. He's extremely ambitious and has his family to think about.
"We're all just absolutely delighted that someone like Jon Sharp will be taking his place.
"A lot of us have worked under Jon when he was assistant to Tony here in 2001, and we know he's a quality operator. It's a great appointment.
"The news he's taking over has provided a big buzz around the place, and hopefully that'll be reflected in our next game at home to Widnes.
"We know it's a match we have to win to maintain our play-off push, and we're determined to do everything we can to make that happen."
Unfortunately, however, injuries could again take their toll.
Around a dozen senior players are carrying knocks as a result of a recent busy schedule.
But it is obviously the injury to Grayshon which is the most serious.
"It's terrible news for the young boy and has brought a premature end to his season," said Smith.
"He had a plate and screws inserted into his leg in an operation yesterday and will now be in pot for six weeks.
"It's not as bad as the injury suffered by Paul Reilly last year.
"But it does mean his main focus will be on preparing for next season rather than the remainder of this one."
* The Senior Giants are holding their latest meeting at the Supporters' Club at Fartown tomorrow (2.30)