BRAD DREW returned to the Galpharm, put on a Giants shirt for the first time in two years and declared: “I’m back home!”
The inspirational Australian hooker has spent the past two seasons at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
That came on the back of three successful years at the Giants, the highlight of which was his man-of-the-match performance in Huddersfield’s Challenge Cup semi-final triumph over Leeds Rhinos at Odsal in 2006.
And even though the 34-year-old thoroughly enjoyed his time at Trinity, Drew admits coming back to the Giants is his dream move.
“I feel I’ve come home, it’s as simple as that,” he announced.
“Re-joining the Giants is like a fairytale for me, and I just hope I don’t let anyone down. I’ve known for some time I’ve wanted to finish my playing career here, and that’s now going to be the case.
“Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time at Wakefield. It proved a good move for me and I left on great terms with everyone, but they all knew that deep down my heart was always in Huddersfield.
“The Giants were obviously my first English club, the family are all really settled in the town and I’ve got lots of close friends here. I’m sure a lot of people will have noticed how much time I still managed to spend here while I was at Wakefield!
“So you can imagine how delighted I was when the move finally happened.
“To be honest, I talked to the club earlier about coming back, but a deal couldn’t be struck and there was a time when I feared it may never happen.
“I believe the fact something has finally been done is fate.
“My next hope, of course, is that I can play as positive a role as possible for the Giants next season, because that’s why Nathan (Brown) has brought me here.”
Drew has already trained with some of his new teammates, including Kevin Brown and Danny Kirmond, who are doing their rehabilitation work with assistant conditioner Greg Brown following their knee injuries.
He will also undergo left knee surgery on November 5, but that won’t prevent him from beginning pre-season training two weeks later and being fit for the start of Super League XV.
“The operation is something I really should have had last pre-season, and the fact it didn’t meant I had to miss more games than I would have liked,” added Drew.
“And when the surgery’s done I’m confident I’ll be 100% fit. I may be getting towards the end of my career, but my body is feeling top-notch and, mentally, I’m feeling very fresh.
“I’m sure part of that is knowing I’ll be back at the Giants and being part of a club who just continue to get stronger and stronger.
“I’ve known Browny for a while, from our days back in Australia, and I know what a fantastic coach he is, as well as being a great bloke.
“And I’m definitely looking forward to working alongside a captain of the quality of Brett Hodgson.
“He’s someone else I’ve known for a very long time. We were, in fact, teammates for two years at Parramatta and we lost a Grand Final together, and I’m excited about teaming up with him again.
“But, at the end of the day, I’m excited full stop.
“When I left the Giants the other year, they were a club on the ‘up’, and that positive progression is continuing as I return.
“They’ve already got a quality squad, and that’s being enhanced with the arrival of players of the quality of Lee Gilmour and David Fa’alogo.
“I just hope I can play a small part in helping the Giants get even better.
“I’m incredibly excited about coming back. I just hope I don’t let anyone down.”