THERE are many times when I feel proud to be captain of Huddersfield Giants.
Leading out the team against engage Super League champions Leeds Rhinos at the Galpharm Stadium on Sunday for our opening game in 2008 will be the latest.
As the game draws nearer, the excitement has been growing.
And I would be lying if I didn’t say there’s also a slight feeling of apprehension.
Over the past four months we have worked incredibly hard in pre-season training, with everything geared towards this weekend’s game.
Obviously, our entire year won’t be decided by the events of this Sunday.
But it will provide us with a clear indication of how we are progressing.
It goes without saying that the aim this season is again to reach the play-offs after making it for the first time last year.
And we know a very solid performance against the Rhinos would be an excellent start. We’re also confident it can be achieved.
Before we embarked on our pre-season games at Hull, Castleford and Batley, we all felt the training had gone well.
That was then reinforced by the three victories.
OK, you can’t read too much into trial games.
But it was clear from what we all saw that the hard work was paying off.
We all felt strong, confident and comfortable, with the contribution of all our new signings catching the eye.
It’s fair to say George Gatis, Luke Robinson and Paul Whatuira have all shown they will be class acts for us.
Personally, I think Sunday’s re-match between centre Paul (right) and Keith Senior (left), who faced each other in the Great Britain v New Zealand Test series, will be special.
And I see no reason why we can’t get the better of all the personal duels and start the season with a win.
After all, that’s what we’re striving to achieve.