Five minutes in the company of Jermaine McGillvary quickly tells you that he possesses one of the best traits required to make it at the top: he’s never content.
Of course, the last 12 months or so have left McGillvary with little cause to be happy. Huddersfield finished bottom of Super League before surviving the Qualifiers – but then with England, the winger was also left to reflect on a disappointing few weeks, this time in the Four Nations.
Huddersfield’s form in the opening few weeks of the new season has been inconsistent to say the least. Two wins and three losses left most thinking the point at world champions Wigan last Sunday was a decent result: but not McGillvary.
“I didn’t think it was a good point,” he slams. “They were there for the taking, although I guess we were, but I think it was a point dropped against Wigan.”
Huddersfield’s season continues with a local derby against Leeds tonight – a game McGillvary often thrives in.
“It’s always a tough game no matter where we are in the league,” he says. “During derby games, form goes out of the window and it’s always a tough one for the fans and the players – but we’re looking forward to it.”
Injury has hindered McGillvary’s personal form at the start of this season, but even if he is starting to look like the winger most know he can be, he is as ultra-demanding of himself as possible.
“My start has been alright,” he reflects.
“I started by tearing my quad so I’m still trying to get proper match sharpness. It’s early on in the season and I’ve got a long way to go. I’ve had seasons where I’ve started like a house on fire then I’ve died off, so I know it’s more how you finish. I’m not overly worried and I’m not overly happy, I guess.
“My expectations of myself have always been high: since I’ve been young they’ve always been high. I’m my own worst critic; people can say I’ve been awesome but I’m always picking on my faults and I’m never satisfied.”
The majority of the build-up to Friday’s derby has revolved around the future of Danny Brough after newspaper reports linking him with a move away from the Giants – and for McGillvary, he’s been able to see the funny side.
He says: “I found it funny. I was messaging him about it and I was sending him the clips from Twitter – it was a joke as far as we were concerned because we knew it wasn’t real: it was made up.
“We were all laughing about it. It didn’t impact on our preparation for Wigan; you could tell by the way Broughy played that it didn’t affect us one little bit. He wears his heart on his sleeve; you know what you’ll get from him and we need effort like that if we’re to be successful and we want to win. It was outstanding when we went down to 12 men, I thought we were really good there.”
More of that tonight, and Huddersfield may be able to start to look up, rather than down – although don’t bank on McGillvary getting too carried away.