New Huddersfield coach Simon Woolford has spoken of how a ringing endorsement of both the club and the town from former boss Nathan Brown helped make up his mind to start a new life in England.
Woolford arrived at the Super League club just in time to see them beat Salford and move into the top eight last Friday; now, in his first official game in charge, he leads them in a Challenge Cup quarter-final against Catalans.
And Woolford has admitted that the way Brown – who guided Huddersfield to their first and only League Leaders’ Shield in the modern era – spoke about the Giants was a big sell for him.
“Nathan only had good things to say,” he said.
“He loved Huddersfield. He loved his time here – the club, Huddersfield as a place to live – so he was obviously all positive about the move.
“He gave me a good reference to Richard (Thewlis) and Ken (Davy). He was happy for me and it’s great to be here now.”
Woolford also believes he inherits a squad that, despite three wins in succession, has more improvements left in them as the season progresses, too.
“There’s plenty of improvement left,” he said of his squad.
“We’ve got a really good squad, a good enough squad to win a lot more games between now and the end of the year. They’re working hard individually, coming in and reviewing their training, and when I’m seeing that sort of attitude, it’s natural we’re going to get improvements.”
A further boost for Huddersfield tonight comes when captain Leroy Cudjoe finally makes his return from a nine-month injury nightmare – but Woolford has warned Giants supporters not to expect too much from the skipper too soon.
He said: “We’re not going to expect the world from him.
“But he’s come through all the sessions, he’s been named to play and so far, so good. He’s had a long injury lay-off and we just want him to get some game-time.”
Aaron Murphy also returns – but Ukuma Ta’ai faces at least six weeks on the sidelines.