Huddersfield Giants’ Aidan Sezer using shutdown time to fine-tune for game’s return

HE had already taken Super League by storm this year but Huddersfield Giants captain Aidan Sezer has revealed he was not even fully fit.

IMMEDIATE IMPACT: Huddersfield Giants' Aidan Sezer celebrates his teams win against St Helens earlier this season.

That will leave the West Yorkshire club’s fans eagerly awaiting the competition’s resumption.

Before the coronavirus hit, the Australian scrum-half proved to be one of its leading players following his big move from NRL Grand Finalists Canberra Raiders.

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Sezer, 28, instantly settled in at Giants and made a significant difference to their play as they rattled off four wins from the opening five games.

Picture by Alex Whitehead/ - 11/03/2020 - Rugby League - Coral Challenge Cup - Toronto Wolfpack v Huddersfield Giants - John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield, England - Huddersfield’s Aidan Sezer.

It was quickly clear why the Fartowners had decided to make him their first-ever ‘marquee’ player and supporters were looking forward to seeing just where he could take them with his quality creative play.

However, Sezer expects to reach even higher levels whenever the sport – halted since mid-March – does start up again after the pandemic.

“I didn’t have much of a pre-season because I finished so late last year in the NRL,” he told The Yorkshire Post, the former Gold Coast Titan helping steer Canberra to the Grand Final where they narrowly lost out to reigning champions Sydney Roosters.

“It meant I only had a month and then I started playing footy.

“So this (shutdown) has given me a bit of time to get the body right again and get on top of the injuries and the little niggles I was carrying from last season into this.

“I’m using the time off as a bit of a blessing in disguise and I think most of the other players will treat it the same as well.

“Hopefully most people can stay healthy, stay fit and eventually we’ll get back to doing what we love.”

With the country in lockdown for almost three weeks, players have been getting used to training on their own and doing what they can to stay fit.

Sezer added that he did contemplate returning to Australia once Super League and the rest of the sport in this country was suspended on March 16.

“Some of my family were due to come over in June but I was actually going to go home for a bit a few weeks ago,” he said.

“In the end, it was just a bit hard with all the unknowns like not knowing whether I could then actually get back in this country or not.

“So, I decided against it; I didn’t want to go home and then have to mess about trying to get back when we did start up here again.

“If you wanted to leave, then you’d have to go in quarantine for two weeks which would have been a bit of a headache.

“It is frustrating (having season suspended). I’d been enjoying it; we’ve got a good bunch of boys at the Giants, we’d been going really well and getting some good results and our form was good.

“But it is what it is. Obviously, it’s not just rugby league affected, everyone is and it’s just important everyone stays home and stays healthy and hopefully we can get on top of this.”

As yet, there has been no scheduled restart date for Super League. Back in the NRL, though, they have been given a provisional date of May 28 for resuming their campaign and players there admit that has helped them mentally deal with lockdown.

“They have an indication now of what to prepare towards,” said Sezer.

“I think here most clubs are just training with maybe July in their heads but no one really knows if it’s before or after.

“It doesn’t really look like the situation is getting any better in the UK. Hopefully they can flatten that curve and we can get a date in mind.

“The main thing is everyone’s safety but hopefully we’ll be back playing footy at some stage this year. It’s just a matter of looking after the players, taking care of their bodies and making sure everyone is fit and healthy and ready to go.”

As discussions continue to try and map out how the season will eventually look, Sezer conceded: “There’s a lot of planning to go into. If we play the remaining games as it is, it will end up running into the preparations for next year as we are going to finish so late. If it starts in February again next year there isn’t going to be any time for pre-season for the players to get their bodies right and sort injuries.

“I think we need to reassess and possibly go with a shortened season this year, while trying to keep finals and Challenge Cup in there.

“I understand the clubs will have issues with revenue and things like that and I know there’s a lot of planning to go into it.

“But until we get a date where we know we can play it’s difficult to put anything forward as it is all so unknown isn’t it?”

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