Teenage prop Mick Learmonth is still hoping to make a Huddersfield Giants’ Super League pre-season appearance before the start of the 2015 campaign.

The 19-year-old former Hunslet Parkside junior, who signed a one-year full-time Super League contract at the end of last season, wasn’t included in the squad that would have played at Bradford Bulls yesterday had frost and snow not caused a cancellation. He was instead spending the weekend training with new dual-registration club Oldham.

The fact the Bradford game fell victim to the weather means head coach Paul Anderson may now opt to send the same squad into action against Halifax at The Shay next Sunday.

That’s something that would disappoint Learmonth, who’s itching to play alongside the club’s senior players.

But even if he misses out in the next few weeks, he’s hoping it’s not long before he gets the call to team-up with the ‘big boys’.

“To get the chance to play in the same side as the senior players, particularly in Super League, would be fantastic,” said the forward from the Leeds district of Belle Isle, who was last season named the Senior Academy Player of the Year.

“I’ve always had a vision to play in Super League, and I know that’s going to be achieved by taking it step-by-step.

“But now I’m getting closer to my goal, I’m getting more determined than ever to finally achieve it.

“It’s only two years since I signed here for the Academy, but in that time I believe I’ve made massive progress.

“I really benefited from working with (Senior Academy coach) Chris Thorman last season. He helped my game tremendously.

“And I’ve already learned an incredible amount off Paul Anderson during this pre-season. Because he’s done everything in the game as a prop-forward, I know if I do something wrong he knows exactly what’s required to put it right.

“I know how lucky I am to get coaching like that.”Learmonth also feels lucky to be part of such a close-knit Super League squad, who made him so welcome from day one.

“The boys here are fantastic,” he added.

“The senior players are brilliant at passing advice on to you, and you also know their advice is going to be spot-on.

“I also think what made it easier for me to fit in straight from the start was the fact I share a car to training from Leeds with Jodie Broughton, Aaron Murphy and Anthony Mullally, and they’ll always look after me.

“But, to be honest, all the senior players look after the younger kids, and I think that helps to bring everyone closer together.

 

“There’s a really tight bond between all of us.”

Meanwhile, Oldham have confirmed that as well as planning to take several Giants players on dual-registration, they have obtained the services of Giants backroom staff member Kane Daniels, who has succeeded Mike Hughes as the club’s head of strength and conditioning.

The 23-year-old Daniels will retain his full-time appointment at the Giants where he is responsible for the physical well-being of more than 50 young players in the Super League club’s academy, but while his Whitebank appointment is a direct spin-off of Oldham’s dual-registration partnership with Huddersfield, Daniels part-time contract has been negotiated with Roughyeds and paid by them.

“Kane has come to us with a Super League background and with new ideas and methods,” said Oldham head coach Scott Naylor.

“Mike Hughes has left to go to Australia, but we have an excellent replacement in Kane, whose gym and general conditioning sessions are very different to anything we’ve done previously.

“He is very professional and everything he does with the squad is well organised and well run. I’ve seen a huge difference in the squad’s fitness levels during the time Kane has been with us.”