Huddersfield prop Eorl Crabtree probably has more right than most to be confident about a change in fortunes at the club this year – because he’s seen the Giants at their lowest ebb.
Crabtree was part of the Giants side that were relegated from Super League in 2001 – after they incredibly lost their first 15 games of the season that year.
He played a key role in their promotion back to the top flight the year after, and following a few years of consistent challenging at the peak of the division, the Giants once again find themselves at the summit in 2016.
Yet Crabtree says he’s adamant the Giants will come good this year – as this is a hugely different side to the one that was relegated back then.
“It’s pretty vague, my memory of that time – but what I know is that I can’t tap into that knowledge and experience, because this is totally different,” he said.
“The team we have now is not the team that was around back then; that team was always going to be beaten and always going to be relegated, but this is a side that can win games.
“It was 14 years ago, I was a young kid and we’d lost 17 games on the bounce and I got thrown in for five matches, and was totally out of my depth. It was a great breeding ground for me and whilst it was tough for the club, it was great for me. That was a different era for this club though, and I’m expecting this side to start winning games.”
Crabtree also insists that the club can turn it round – starting with tonight’s game at Hull FC – and when he looks around the dressing room, he sees the required quality to get them out of trouble and back up the table.
“I don’t mean to be disrespectful but that team back then didn’t have players like Broughy, Sam Rapira, Joe Wardle and Jermaine and Leroy, proper international players.
“They were in a position they couldn’t get out of, but we’re in a position we can change for sure.”