HUDDERSFIELD Giants are ready to hand a senior debut to one of their brightest young stars in tomorrow’s pre-season clash at Castleford Tigers (8.00).
Teenage outside back Freddie Walker has been named in a 22-man squad for the club’s first trial contest of the season.
The 19-year-old gets his chance due to the number of senior stars who are still recovering from major off-season surgery, although head coach Nathan Brown has still named his strongest available squad.
As well as seeing how well Walker performs against Super League opposition, a lot of attention will be focused on new signings Jason Chan, Greg Eden, Luke George and Tommy Lee, who all make their Giants debuts at the PROBIZ Coliseum.
But the call-up for Walker, who learned his rugby league trade at Elland and is now at the Giants on professional terms, has created a great deal of interest.
The youngster played in the Giants Under 20s side last year, even though he was eligible for the 18s, and the Galpharm coaching staff have every confidence he is ready to take the next step up.
“I’m delighted another Giants youngster has been given a chance in the first-team environment,” said Head of Youth Development Pete Riding.
“And I’m also confident Freddie will give an excellent account of himself.
“He was brought to out attention last year by another former Elland player, Jacob Fairbank, and he quickly made a big impression on everyone at the club.
“Freddie’s quick, strong, good on his feet and an excellent support player, and his outstanding performances at Under 20s level have all convinced us he’s ready to step up.
“Since he came here, his game has improved significantly, which is testament not only to his hard work, but the hard work of the coaching staff who have helped him develop.
“To see someone like Freddie stepping out there tomorrow night will make a lot of us very proud.”