Huddersfield promote Jon Luke Kirby to first team

Young forward Jon Luke Kirby has signed a professional two-year contract with Huddersfield.

The 19-year-old, who has captained the Under-19s side, follows in the footsteps of Sam Hewitt to be promoted to the first team this season.

Fellow academy products Matty English, Louis Senior and Innes Senior have all impressed while playing for the Giants first team this season and Kirby wants to join them and play for the first team.

He said: “It’s the next step up for me and I’m really pleased that I’ve been given the opportunity.

“It’s what I’ve always wanted and is what I’ve been working towards over these past five years, so it’s massive to me. It shows that if you work hard and stick at it then you get the rewards and I’m chuffed to bits, I’m just looking forward to cracking on.

“My time at the Club has been brilliant, they’ve given me all the tools I’ve needed to get to where I am today, and I can’t thank them enough. Hopefully it won’t be too long until I get my chance, that’s the aim, to get out there as soon as possible and get some game time and challenge myself at that level.

“Everyone I’ve been coached by at this Club have been brilliant and have done everything they can to help develop me as a player and I can’t fault them at all.

“I went to school with Sam Hewitt and most of the lads are from around this area, so it just shows that the local young lads are doing the business and we’re doing good things, hopefully we can keep that going.”

Andy Kelly, Giants head of youth, added: “I’m delighted for Jon Luke Kirby.

“I think in terms of his time with the scholarship and academy there has been nobody more committed than him. We wax lyrical about Matty English, and we’re seeing the qualities that he brings to the first team, but Jon Luke Kirby mirrors that commitment, energy and effort.

“Aged 14, 15 and 16 Leeds wanted him and on all occasions he chose to stay with the Giants and follow the pathway that he was on because he enjoyed his time with us and he could see his progression and that there was a future for him at the Club.

“He’s colossal in stature but what he brings is hard-work, honesty, industry, loyalty and is very trustworthy. He brings all the qualities that he’ll need to be a Super League player and at the time when he gets the nod from the head coach at Super League level, he’ll not let anyone down.”

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