Huddersfield Giants managing director Richard Thewlis has revealed the club are hoping to continue their dual-registration deal with Oldham in 2016, and has indicated they will not join the reformed reserve grade structure.
Oldham were promoted to the Championship in 2015 after winning League 1, and Thewlis believes that means the club’s youngsters and fringe players will be able to get ready to play the intense level of Super League better than if they were playing reserves.
“We’re planning to sit down with Oldham next week and work our way through a new dual-registration agreement,” Thewlis told the Huddersfield Examiner.
“It’s the path our club believes best suits the development of our players, and we have no better example than Jermaine McGillvary, who spent time in his early career at Barrow and Batley and now finds himself in the England squad.
“I think we were good for Oldham last year and they, too, were good for us, so I’m sure we’ll be able to build on our first year, and learn what worked and what didn’t.
“Oldham have just been promoted into the Championship, which will be a considerable step-up in intensity for our players who’ll compete with them, and we need to have a higher number of younger players ready to make whatever Super League opportunities they get count.
“The standard we want our younger professionals to be playing at with Oldham will most definitely be higher than the rumoured reserves league which a handful of clubs are attempting to piece together.”
Thewlis also wants the under 19s system to continue into 2016 alongside the reserve grade.
“I just hope for the game’s sake that if the RFL do permit some clubs to do this, it will not be to the detriment of the Academy Under 19s competition where we have placed a lot of resource to meet criteria requested and which, in my opinion, is producing players for all levels of the game.”