HUDDERSFIELD Giants' excellent start to the Super League season could hold the key to success in 2005.
Even though the McAlpine men have played only nine games this season, the threat of relegation has already been dismissed.
Obviously, that's not a 100% guarantee just yet.
But such is the gap between the Giants and the bottom two of Castleford (no points) and Salford (four) that it seems unimaginable coach Jon Sharp's side will have to consider the possibility of the dreaded drop this term.
And that is fantastic news for the club in building for a brighter and securer future.
It means plans can be put in place to make sure the Giants are even stronger next season, both on and off the field.
That's never been able to happen before.
The process is already under way on the field, with Paul March, Paul Reilly and Mick Slicker having been handed new extended contracts.
Other deals may well be struck in the coming weeks, ensuring that Sharp will once again have a solid squad at his disposal.
Those deals may also include new recruits.
Even with two-thirds of the season still to play, there's no reason why Huddersfield can't enter the shopping market on both sides of the world offering Super League contracts for next year.
What a change that is to previous years!
Even last season, when the Giants still had one eye on the top six going into the final weeks of the campaign, plans couldn't be put into place until two-thirds through.
And, of course, in the four Super League seasons before that, attempting to avoid relegation was the only issue.
There was simply no chance of forward planning.
It was no wonder, therefore, that Huddersfield were unable to build on firm foundations and the Super League squad was so lightweight.
Now it's an entirely different ball game.
But it's not just on the field that this is the case.
Club officials can now look at ways of securing a much firmer financial base for the club.
There's more time to attract potential sponsors, offering them packages for Super League in 2005, and devising successful business plans.
And more time can be spent on organising promotional events for next season.
There's no doubt the future looks a lot brighter right across the board.