Huddersfield Giants coach explains long-term ‘project’ behind Thomas Deakin

IAN WATSON is excited to work with long-term “project” Thomas Deakin after the hooker made his senior debut.

Deakin, who was born in England but spent much of his childhood in Australia, signed for Huddersfield from Sydney Roosters ahead of this season.

The 22-year-old was yet to make a first-grade appearance but finally got his maiden outing at the end of March, starting in the Giants’ Super League win at London.

He is currently Huddersfield’s third-choice hooker, behind Adam Milner and Ashton Golding, and coach Watson is taking the patient approach to his development.

“Thomas is a project, but he will definitely feature throughout the season,” said Watson.

“His job now is to knock on Adam Milner and Ash Golding and start becoming a second-choice and then a first-choice.

“In a few years I think he will be a first-choice nine. He’s got all the abilities. He just needs to keep learning and keep getting better. 

“You’ve not seen his it (against London) but he’s a got a dangerous running game on him as well. He just focused on his job and he did his job really well.

“We said to him ‘play it simple. Don’t try and a hero in game one, just feel your way in’.”

Deakin’s debut was made a special occasion in more ways than one, Watson added.

“It’s a big, big thing for young players who have worked all their careers to try and get a first-team opportunity and then they get it. You forget how much it actually means to them and their family,” he said.

“When we put him back on in the last ten minutes, I heard all his family start screaming in the stand. They’ve all come down; they’ve travelled from everywhere. 

“He has family in Australia too – we had a good captain’s run where everyone sent in messages, from all his mates, his mum and dad. 

“He had his grandad present his jersey to him, who is (former Huddersfield assistant and ex-Barrow boss) Steve Deakin. It was a really special moment for Thomas.”