Paul Anderson is confident there are many others in his club ready to follow in the Huddersfield Giants footsteps of Sam Wood.
The 18-year-old former Dewsbury Celtic part-time Academy player made a rock-solid Super League debut in Friday’s heartbreaking 18-13 home defeat to title favourites Wigan Warriors.
And the Huddersfield head coach believes that’s a sign of the progress being made by his club on the junior development front.
“Sam’s a good player. He showed that with the way he took his chance the other night, and he’ll benefit tremendously from that experience and opportunity,” said Anderson.
“But Sam’s just one of a growing pool of young talent we now have at the Giants, and a lot of credit for that has to go to the work being down by our Head of Youth, Andy Kelly, our Player Performance Manager, Steve Hardisty, and our Scholarship coaches.
“We’re not quite at the same level just yet as a club like Wigan in relation to producing a conveyor belt of young talent ready to step up and compete successfully on the biggest stage.
“But in the time I’ve been at the Giants (around eight years) we have made significant strides on the junior development front and I’d like to think it won’t be too long before we’re matching the Wigans of this world in this area.
“The way we competed against Wigan the other night, when we had to rely on young players like Sam, Jake Connor, Josh Johnson, Nathan Mason. Kruise Leeming, Oli Roberts, shows we are slowly starting to get there.”