I FEEL very privileged to be the captain of Huddersfield Giants.
Tonight, I will be leading the team out for the club’s first appearance in the Super League play-offs at Hull, and I know that will be a very special moment.
And it comes just over 12 months since I led us out for our first Challenge Cup final appearance in 44 years.
Not many captains can say something like that, and it really does fill me with pride.
But, to be honest, this is why I chose to come back to this fantastic club.
When I was considering coming back to England after my spell playing for Parramatta Eels in Australia, I did have one or two offers from other clubs on the table, and they were tempting.
However, I chose to come back to the Giants three years ago because I knew this was a club that was going forward and would one day be winning things.
OK, we haven’t quite won anything just yet.
But no-one can argue that we are still heading firmly in the right direction, with a Challenge Cup final appearance and first shot at the play-offs clearly proving that fact.
And we certainly head to Hull tonight feeling confident and believing we can go all the way to Old Trafford and the Super League Grand Final.
Yet, at the same time, we know that if we are not at our best we face elimination at the first hurdle.
No-one wants that, especially after the way we have worked so hard to get into the top six after losing our opening seven games.
Hull present a massive challenge, and they are a side that’s bang in form.
They are always strong at home, but we showed with the 9-9 draw at the KC Stadium a few months ago that we can match them at their place.
In fact, several key calls went against us that day, which further proves we can make it a tough night for them tonight.
We also know the atmosphere will be cracking, and one of our initial challenges will be to keep the black and white fans quiet.
Nothing would give us, the players, greater pleasure than hearing our fans out-shouting those of Hull.
I would love that to happen, because it would be a clear sign that things are going according to plan.
All the signs suggest we’ll have a strong claret and gold following tonight, and they could well prove to be our 14th man.
Let’s just hope at about 8.45 tonight, our great supporters have something else to cheer.