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Huddersfield Giants new signing reveals admiration for Ian Watson made the move an “honour”

Huddersfield Giants had a disappointing 2023 season given the high hopes that had arisen from their 2022 form and the squad built in the off-season, however they’ve rebuilt again and one of their newest spine players has revealed how watching a game from four years ago led to him signing for the Giants this off-season.

Whilst the Giants have lost players such as Theo Fages to Catalans Dragons and the retiring Nathan Peats, it’s meant a focus on recruitment in their spine with a pair of players arriving from down under.

The long time rumour of Adam Clune to the John Smiths’ Stadium did come to fruition with Ian Watson revealing to BBC Sport West Yorkshire earlier in the week that Clune will link up with the club in December, the half-back getting married on December 1st before flying out to link up with his new club.

Clune will feature in the halves but the hooking role will become the job of New South Wales Cup player Thomas Deakin who also arrives from down under but boasts a strong connection to England.

Speaking to BBC Sport West Yorkshire the 21-year-old explained:  “So yeah my great grandfather had a big part to play in Oldham St. Anne’s, he was one of the founding members there.

“My grandfather was a coach within the Super League ranks. My great-uncle as well, Peter, had a fair bit to do with football. So yeah, my whole family from four generations of us has been heavily involved in English football.

“Obviously I wasn’t really too much of a part of it when I was younger but to come back and to feel that warm welcome, I’m real grateful and very privileged to be around it.”

Deakin had been playing in the NSW Cup for Sydney Roosters feeder team and Ian Watson had earlier revealed how the club had uncovered his English roots whilst scouting another player.

The 21-year-old explained why the move was right for him:  “I feel like it was the next step in my career. Obviously playing a fair bit of reserve grade, I felt like I was a regular reserve grade player back home but when Huddersfield called and they offered first team football and obviously what I put down the plan and the way they play and what their objectives and goals are it sounded very enticing for me and it’s a place where I wanted to go and be a part of. I think we’ve got something good going on here and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

He’s been active in pre-season aiming to impress head coach Ian Watson but the 21-year-old revealed that he’d actually been a fan of Super League for a number of seasons, particularly of Watsons, something that made the decision to move to Super League even easier.

“I think it was a few years ago, about 3 or 4 years ago, Watto was coaching at Salford and we actually ended up coming out here for a footy trip, my local team,” Deakin explained.

“I was watching Super League a fair bit then and I ended up getting to watch Watto’s team (Salford Red Devils) play within the Super League Grand Final.

“I’ve always known that he’s a good coach and I’ve seen him through that season. So when he come calling, it was a good honour to be honest to have him like me. I was really excited to be a part of this.”

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