Huddersfield Giants head coach Simon Woolford backs Aiden Sezer as 'obvious choice' for captaincy
By PA Media
Last Updated: 10/01/20 4:41pm
Simon Woolford believes new signing Aidan Sezer was the stand-out player to take over the Huddersfield Giants captaincy for the 2020 Super League season.
The 28-year-old Australian half-back has joined the Giants on a two-year deal from NRL Grand Final runners-up Canberra Raiders and becomes the club's first marquee signing.
Sezer takes over the captaincy from former England centre Leroy Cudjoe, who steps down after two injury-hit seasons in which he made just 11 appearances.
"It was an obvious choice," Huddersfield head coach Woolford said. "Last year with Leroy being on the sidelines, we went with a leadership group.
"This year we feel we have a stand-out candidate in Aidan. He has come over here to lead the team and in the first six weeks, he's gained the respect of the guys.
"Leroy needs to concentrate on getting to playing footy, he doesn't need to worry about the captaincy. I had a good chat with Leroy and he supports the decision."
Sezer, who will make his first appearance for the Giants against Halifax in the Jermaine McGillvary testimonial match at the John Smith's Stadium on Sunday, is relishing taking on the role.
"We feel we have a stand-out candidate in Aidan. He has come over here to lead the team and in the first six weeks he's gained the respect of the guys."
"It was a little bit of a surprise, but it comes with the territory," Sezer said. "Being a half-back, you relish the responsibility and being captain is going to instil a lot of belief and confidence in my game.
"It's the first time I've been captain but I've been in leadership groups back home and it's an opportunity I'm going to grab with both hands."
Woolford has turned to Sezer to help transform the fortunes of the Giants following their relegation scare in 2019.
He had another year left on his contract with Canberra but was likely to fall down the pecking order following the arrival of England half-back George Williams from Wigan Warriors.
It’s been a privilege to Captain my hometown club for the last few years and it’s something I will never forget.— Leroy Cudjoe (@Elroy_cudj) January 10, 2020
I’d like to congratulate Aiden on the captaincy, he’s a great leader who has the support of everyone at the Club. Looking forward to a successful 2020 👊🏾 https://t.co/Rmszt1wqD5
"I always wanted to come over and play in the Super League and it's come in a good circumstance," Sezer said. "I'm at a good club, amongst a good group of players.
"The boys are really hungry for success. Last year's campaign was disappointing and we've spoken about that.
"The boys want to take the club back up the ladder and the new boys that have come in have bought into what Huddersfield is about."
Woolford expects his other overseas signings, Kenny Edwards and James Gavet, to miss Sunday's game with minor injuries but hopes they will be fit for the opening Super League match against Catalans Dragons in Perpignan on February 1.
Centre or second row Chester Butler, who joined the Giants from Halifax towards the end of last season, will miss the start of the season along with Cudjoe and winger Akuila Uate though.