Highly-rated Huddersfield Giants young gun makes Championship move for 2024: ‘I jumped at the chance’

Ben Olawumi
Aidan McGowan

Aidan McGowan in action for Batley Bulldogs in 2023 - Alamy

Bradford Bulls have confirmed the season-long loan signing of highly-rated Huddersfield Giants youngster Aidan McGowan for 2024.

The 21-year-old enjoyed a sterling campaign out on loan in the second tier this year, nominated for the Championship Young Player of the Year award after 14 tries in 28 appearances for Batley Bulldogs.

One of those appearances came under the arch at Wembley in August with the Bulldogs narrowly beaten by Halifax Panthers in the 1895 Cup final.

Primarily featuring at full-back, but also able to play on the wing, McGowan now links up with the Bulls, who were beaten play-off semi-finalists in 2023 and have a new head coach in Eamon O’Carroll as we approach 2024.

Highly-rated Huddersfield Giants young gun Aidan McGowan makes Championship move for 2024 with Bradford: ‘I jumped at the chance’

Bradford confirmed his loan signing via their club website, with the Ireland youth international saying: “It has all come about pretty quickly, I was told an opportunity came up at Bradford last week and jumped at the chance.

“I am really looking forward to it. I really enjoyed my time at Batley, we didn’t have the campaign we wanted in the league, but had a successful cup run and I enjoyed my first full year in the Championship.

“Bradford had a really good year, but there is always room to improve and that’s what I want to do. Eamon has done everything and more, and having spoken to him about where he wants to go with the club, it matches my ambitions.

“I am hard working, I do anything I can for the team and I aim for consistency. I base my game on consistency, hard work and effort and everything else comes naturally on the back of it.

“The club have brought in some new faces since finishing third, we all want to add to that, and you never want to take a backward step, so now we look forward and see how we go.”

New Bradford Bulls boss ‘really pleased’ to add youngster McGowan to squad for 2024

O’Carroll – who joins Bradford from Catalans Dragons where he’s been Steve McNamara’s assistant – says he’s delighted to have McGowan in his squad, particularly given the back’s desire to learn and grow his game.

The chief added: “I am really pleased, this was an area we have been looking to strengthen since I arrived. We have been looking for some time, but it was really important we got the right type of person, and Aidan fits the bill.

“He has a fantastic attitude and a willingness to learn, and he was really happy about coming to Bradford because he sees this as a place he can excel.

“Having spoken to Ian Watson and people at Huddersfield, they’ve told me he’s training really well at the moment and is ready to go.

“We are excited to bring Aidan in and it’s important we thank Richard Thewlis and Ian Watson for allowing a player of his quality to come so early in pre-season.

“Recruitment is always ongoing, it is important we are looking to strengthen, but I am happy with where the squad is at. If the right type of person comes up and we feel it will benefit the club long term, then we will look to bring him.”

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