English maturing into a leadership role

Matty English became an integral part of the Huddersfield side in 2020, impressing with his metre-eating runs and stern defence, but it’s important to note that 23-year-old prop forward made his debut as recently as 2017, when he was part of the Giants’ team that defeated Leeds Rhinos 31-12 at Headingley in Round 12 of that year’s competition.

“It only seems two minutes since I made my debut,” English explains.

“I loved every minute of it – it was so good to win at a packed-out Headingley, where I had all my family and a fair few friends come to watch.

“I’ve never known nerves like it, but it was a feeling I’ll never forget.”

To acquire more experience, English went on loan to Dewsbury in 2018, which he admits he was very grateful for.

“I enjoyed every second of my time at Dewsbury. They were all so welcoming and just a great bunch of lads,” he says.

“I felt like it helped my development hugely to play against men every week.

“The difference between Academy games and Championship games was massive, mainly in terms of the physicality, and it definitely boosted my confidence knowing that I could compete.”

Since then, English has become one of the standout players in the Giants’ side, an accolade he is quick to downplay.

“I think I’m coming up to nearly 50 Super League games, so I’m pretty happy with that and every year I try to play more and more,” he says.

“I still have so much more to develop on my game and I need to become more consistent with my performances.”

With former Salford coach Ian Watson now at the helm at Huddersfield, optimism is circling around the John Smith’s Stadium. And English is confident that the Giants can go all the way.

“The main goal for not only me, but for the team, is to win something,” he adds.

“We’ve definitely got the squad to do it and we all need to believe it.

“It’s all we’ve been talking about since we all came back into pre-season.”

And English sees himself maturing into a leadership role within the squad.

“My personal goals are to continue improving in all aspects of the game, but also to improve as a leader,” he explains.

“As I’m not really one of the young ones any more, I know I need to pass on all the things I’ve learnt in my time and still soak up everything I can from the older boys.”

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