Paul gains his just reward for showing the highest loyal
THERE are few cast-iron guarantees in the game of rugby league.
But one major exception is that at Bradford tomorrow, Paul Reilly will give 100% to the Huddersfield Giants cause.
That's simply because Reilly doesn't know any other way.
When the going gets tough, the former Moldgreen junior will always be to the fore, never shirking a tackle or taking the ball into the heart of the opposition defence.
His rugged, no-nonsense and aggressive approach has brought him his fair share of knocks over the years.
Yet the Huddersfield-born full-back simply regards that as an occupational hazard.
If he is able to put his body on the line to help the cause of his hometown club, he will readily acknowledge that it's a price worth paying.
All that Reilly wants to do whenever he steps on to the field is to do his very best for Huddersfield Giants.
And no-one can argue that in that respect the 28-year-old has ever failed.
That is why the news he is to be granted a testimonial next year has been so well received.
In 2006, Reilly will celebrate 10 years at the Giants, which in the modern-day game is no mean achievement.
When as an 18-year-old he signed from Moldgreen, he never dreamed he would still be on the club's books.
Playing 10 years for the Giants was the last thing on his mind back then. All that he could think about was doing his very best.
His philosophy has not changed since he made his debut as a substitute in a 26-16 defeat against Hull FC in the old second division at the Boulevard on July 21, 1996.
A week later he started at full-back and claimed the man-of-the-match award in a 20-14 home defeat to Widnes, and Reilly's Huddersfield career was under way.
Since then he has made 137 first-team appearances, with his latest coming in last Friday's 24-16 victory over Wigan when he completed his first Super League hat trick.
It was just by chance that news of his testimonial was announced a few days later.
But Reilly wasn't going to complain about that!
The timing was perfect, and Reilly was delighted.
"It's been a fantastic time for me," he said.
"The Wigan game was great, and to score my first Super League hat trick against a club like Wigan is a dream.
"And to be named the man-of-the-match for a second time in front of the Sky TV cameras and pick up a second Tissot watch was the icing on the cake.
"My performance that night helped raise my profile and I admit it hasn't done the launch of my testimonial any harm at all!
"There's already been a lot of interest in it and quite a few journalists have been getting in touch to do a piece with me.
"It's great to get this type of recognition, not just for me but for the club as a whole.
"But I know I can't afford to think too far ahead.
"My benefit year doesn't start until next year, and there's still a lot of rugby to be played before then.
"That has to be the main priority right now.
"Hopefully, I'll be able to enjoy myself in 2006 and continue to be a part of future Giants' success.
"But I have to admit I'm really loving it right now.
"In the first few years at the club, it proved a real slog and there were times when I did seriously wonder if it was the right thing to do to stick around.
"I'm glad I did.
"What's happening now is making up for all those early disappointments.
"Everyone can see how this club is progressing and it's a real honour to be a part of it and to be handed a testimonial."