You won’t find many people more proud to be from Huddersfield than Jermaine McGillvary – and the England winger has called on the town to rally behind the Giants on Friday for their huge clash against Catalans.
With chairman Ken Davy making it free admission, a crowd approaching 10,000 is expected for a game in which victory would go a long way to securing a top-eight finish this season.
And McGillvary admits the Giants’ players have a responsibility to entertain to ensure as many fans come back again following Friday’s game.
He told TotalRL: “If people don’t come now, they never will. It’s important for us as players that we put on a good show; not just win, but put on a performance for the people of Huddersfield. No matter if we win, lose or draw, if we don’t entertain, people won’t come back.
“The challenge for us as a club is to try and retain a thousand or two thousand of those people moving forward. I go to Huddersfield Town games with my lads and I see the atmosphere, and it’s phenomenal.
“To have a quarter of those fans would be incredible. Success helps, I understand that, and we’ve not had that since 2013. They don’t want to see a team who’s trying to finish eighth every year, they want a team competing for finals like we used to. I hope the whole town rallies behind us on Friday night.”
McGillvary also insists that, if the Giants preserve their Super League status this season, the signs are there for a bright future under new coach Simon Woolford – who the winger has likened to a former Huddersfield coach that enjoyed success at the club.
“He’s been sensational – a breath of fresh air,” McGillvary said of Woolford.
“He’s the kind of person we needed; he’s approachable, a smart coach and he’s got a Nathan Brown vibe about him. When he gets his own team and gets his own pre-season, watch us fly. We’ve been leaking tries for fun before he came but now, we’re looking a lot better. We’re not quite the finished article yet but we’re in a lot better position than we were four or five weeks ago.
“We don’t want to be down at the bottom. The Giants used to be consistently up at the top and competing with the big teams – we probably were one of the big teams. Now we’re not, and it’s not a nice position to be in as a player. Hopefully things change in the next year or two – I feel like they are.”