Eorl Crabtree says people aren’t interested in winning this trophy as he backs Giants for success

Huddersfield Giants recorded one of their best campaigns in recent history as they placed third in the league and made it to the Challenge Cup Final, but ultimately they fell short of silverware.

Last year, the Giants finished third in the regular season, but ultimately lost out to Salford Red Devils in the play-offs, cementing the pain of their Challenge Cup run in which they lost to Wigan Warriors during a tight final at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The last time that silverware was lifted to the John Smith’s Stadium was in 2013 when the Giants lifted the League Leaders Shield and one of the men involved in that side was Giants’ legend Eorl Crabtree.

Crabtree retired in 2016 but the long-haired former forward feels that the current crop of players has what it takes to lift silverware.

Speaking to Serious about Rugby League, the former Giant said: “I’d be disappointed if it wasn’t top four, the squad that we’ve got, there’s no excuses”.

It’s a squad that has been revamped during a busy off-season bringing in nine new additions including the likes of star signing Jake Connor, along with Kevin Naiqama, Jake Bibby and Nathan Peats.

“We’ve got a better squad this year,” Crabtree continued. “The team is looking really strong, but it’s about getting them playing together as a unit.

“League Leader’s isn’t the one that people want, it’s Grand Final or Challenge Cup”.

That recruitment far outweighs that of the two sides that placed above them in 2022, both Wigan and St Helens only adding two players each, and it’s also something that star signing Jake Connor picked up on to echo Crabtree’s sentiments around the squad.

“I think we have a great squad going into this year. Probably if you look across the league, it’s probably the best squad when you actually look at it so I think we’ve got a real chance this year,”
said Connor.

Connor has returned to the Giants ahead of the 2023 season returning to the team whose academy he broke through at following his six-year stint at Hull FC.

Having broke though at the John Smith’s in 2013 and playing 57 games for the Giants in his first spell it’s a return that fans and former players are looking forward to, Crabtree sharing the last four years of his illustrious career with Connor.

“It’s a great chance for him to come back; he’s one of the most skilful players I’ve ever played with,” concluded Crabtree.

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