CONFIDENT assistant coach Paul Anderson believes there’s no risk involved in handing four rising Giants stars their chance in Sunday’s home Challenge Cup clash against struggling Rochdale Hornets (11.30).
Fringe Super League players Keal Carlile Josh Griffin, Tom Hemingway and Larne Patrick will all be in action this weekend as Huddersfield bid to book a place in the draw for the quarter-finals.
The four youngsters boast just two Super League appearances between them this season – both of which were made by 20-year-old utility forward Patrick.
The 21-year-old Hemingway has, of course made a handful of senior appearances in the past, but has only just recovered from shoulder surgery and a broken hand, while Carlile (19) and Griffin (18) have yet to play in the first team.
But with the rest of the Giants’ Cup squad going to be filled with players of significant Super League appearance – although the actually side is still to be finalised – Anderson is confident progress will be made.
And he believes the four young and highly talented players will benefit tremendously from mixing with the senior players on the competitive field.
“It’s going to be a big day for all of them, and we’ve no doubt at all they will rise to the occasion,” he said.
“We already know what Tom can do because he’s played well for us in Super League in the past.
“But, obviously, the shoulder surgery and broken hand have held him back this season and he’s only had two or three Reserve games.
“With all due respect to Rochdale, this would seem the ideal game to ease him back into the first team.
“He’ll partner Luke Robinson at half-back and I’m sure they’ll make a positive impact.
“Larne has also proved himself at senior level a couple of times this season, and he, too, deserves his chance this weekend after showing up well in his two Super League games, but it’s obviously a bigger occasion for Keal and Josh, who are making their senior debuts.
“Keal’s performances in the Reserves have been excellent and there’s no question he’s ready to take the step up.
“And that’s also the case with Josh, particularly after scoring a hat trick last time out for the Reserves.”
Anderson has, of course, been handed the coaching reins for this weekend’s clash.
But even though it’s an exciting challenge for the former Challenge Cup winner, his role should not be a focus of attention.
“This game is not about me, it’s about the club and the team,” he added.
“Everyone at the club has a vital role to play to make sure we achieve our objective, which is to guarantee we’re in the hat for the next round.”