DELIGHTED Giants coach Jon Sharp believes the signing of Michael De Vere is yet another clear sign that his club is determined to become one of Super League's elite clubs.
The Australian Test centre arrives for the start of the 2005 season on a two-year contract and has immediately been tipped as one of the stars for Super League X.
De Vere will be an automatic starter in Sharp's line-up and is expected to assume the goalkicking duties.
He follows in the foosteps of fellow Australians Chris Nero and James Evans, who both arrived this season and have proved shrewd Sharp acquisitions.
But the McAlpine head coach is confident De Vere can prove an even bigger hit.
"It's fair to say I'm thrilled we are able to add Michael De Vere to our squad for next year," he said.
"There's no doubt the signing of a player of this calibre is a massive coup for the Giants.
"It is very rare a current international becomes available and I would like to pay tribute to the work of chairman Ken Davy and general manager Richard Thewlis in attracting a player of this quality to the club.
"I'm really looking forward to working with Michael. He has a tremendous reputation in Australia and will add further quality to the exciting squad we are putting together for Super League X."
The Giants have also recruited Canberra Raiders hooker Brad Drew for next season, while many of this year's top performers have already been signed up for 2005.
The way the squad is shaping up and has performed this year is something which has impressed De Vere, who can't wait to get started.
"I have always had an ambition to play in England," said the centre, who scored a try for Australia in the 18-12 Ashes victory over Great Britain at the McAlpine last November.
"I want to come to the UK while I am still young, in the peak of my career and enjoying my football.
"I'm seeking a new challenge in my career now after achieving my ambitions in Australia.
"I want to play for a professional club that is determined to achieve success. I believe that club to be the Huddersfield Giants.
"I'm excited about the chance to play in Super League for such a professional and competitive club.
"They are moving in the right direction, both on and off the field, and I'm very enthusiastic about the challenge and keen to achieve success with the Giants."
De Vere's signing does, however, mean the Giants are being forced to have a re-think on their overseas list for next season.
Club officials are looking to remedy the situation and are confident of a successful outcome, but are remaining tightlipped over their quota gameplan.
The quota is being reduced to three next season.
But right now, the Giants have current players Julian Bailey, Brandon Costin and Ben Roarty on the list, as well as new recruits De Vere and Drew.
Fellow Australians James Evans, Jim Gannon and Chris Nero are exempt, with Evans having Welsh ancestors and Nero Italian.
And Gannon gained British citizenship earlier in the year.
In the short term, however, the Giants are focusing on Saturday's big Super League McAlpine clash with play-off rivals Warrington Wolves (6.00).
The club are again taking steps to attract a bumper crowd, with a major push on the pre-match discounted ticket front.
To help in this process, the club office at the McAlpine will stay open until 7.30 tonight and tomorrow.