When Dan Hyde assumed control of the head coaching role of Huddersfield two Christmases ago, he found the club embroiled in a relegation fight.
A drop down to the fifth tier was avoided by the skins of Huddersfield’s teeth in Hyde’s first few months in charge.
In his first full season at the helm, the former Leeds Tykes professional and Otley player guided the club to an eighth-place finish in the 16-strong National Two North Division.
Today, Hyde’s Huddersfield welcome Loughborough Students in the battle of the top two.
“If somebody had offered us second place going into this year we’d have snapped their hands off,” said Hyde, whose side are 12 points adrift of today’s opponents Loughborough Students.
Victory would keep alive their chances of snatching the one promotion spot available to National One.
Second place would still result in a promotion play-off with the second place team in National Two South.
It is all heady stuff for a club not long removed from regional rugby.
“Hopefully, we can maintain it and the back half of our season will reflect our first half,” added Hyde, whose side were unbeaten in eight games before suffering defeat at the hands of Yorkshire rivals Hull last week.
“We had a good start to the season and it’s just continued from there.
“We lost a few players at the start of the campaign but the lads who have come in have performed really well.
“A lot of us, like myself, were Huddersfield youngsters who have gone away and then come back to the club.
“We’ve got a very strong team bond and that’s been evident for us this season.”
Huddersfield drew 30-30 with Loughborough when the two sides met at the start of the season.