The 2020/21 off-season has been the most hectic in recent memory for the Giants. With several long-standing names making their departure, making way for a new-look side under Ian Watson, we've taken a look at those who've moved on in the past 12 months
Simon Woolford
In his two year reign at the Giants, Germ's story was one of ups and downs. He took over the club at a very difficult time, with us sat bottom of the league with 2 wins in 13 games and a -249 points difference. His job was simple - keep us in Super League. Not only did he do that - comfortably - against all odds we almost looked set to make a surprise play-off run, winning 12 of our next 13 games. 2019 was tougher, with the side needing a win on the final game of the year to avoid relegation, and 2020 saw the rollercoaster continue. An excellent start to the season was followed by a post-hiatus slump. In September, Simon announced he didn't expect to be offered a new contract at the end of the season, and he departed the club two weeks later.
While we were inconsistent under Woolford, it's important to remember he had rotten luck with injuries and having brought the likes of Golding, Edwards and Sezer to the club, he undoubtedly leaves the Giants in a better condition than he found them.
Dominic Young
While Dom only played two senior games for the club, anyone who followed his time in the reserves and the academy will tell you he's got a bright future ahead of him. He's taken up a contract at the Newcastle Knights and has already begun to make a name for himself with an impressive pre-season.
Reiss Butterworth
Another youngster who sadly didn't get much game-time at the club, Reiss joined the club from Bradford in 2019 but found himself behind O'Brien, Leeming, Holmes and Moore in his time with the Giants. In November, the 21-year-old joined Dewsbury Rams and picked up a starting squad number ahead of the 2021 season.
Adam Walne
Adam was really unlucky in his time at the Giants; when given an opportunity in the side he rarely disappointed, but a series of injuries prevented him getting a consistent run of games. After spending half the 2018 season on loan at Leigh, he featured 8 times in the 2019 and 2020 seasons. He arguably didn't have a bad game in that time, making an impressive 0 handling errors in his 3 years at the club. But with so much time spent on the sidelines, 2020 would be his last year as a Giant, having taken up a contract at Barrow for the 2021 season to play alongside his brother
Tom Holmes
After playing twice in the short-lived reserves league back in February, Tom was called up to the side for our pre-COVID trip to St Helens, expecting to play at interchange hooker, but ended up playing 76 minutes in the halves after an early injury to Lee Gaskell, and put in one hell of a performance. He went on to play in 12 of our 19 games in 2020, and quite honestly was given a lot of unfair criticism for poor team performances. After falling down the pecking order behind Gaskell, Sezer and Cogger, Tom returned to his former club Featherstone Rovers for the 2021 season
Akuila Uate
There were such high hopes for Akuila the Thriller. A Dally M Winger, the all time top-tryscorer for the Knights, and caps for Fiji, Australia and New South Wales to his name. But his time at the Giants was blighted by injuries. With the side low on numbers, he put his hand up and played through the pain barrier, featuring in 12 of our first 14 games in the 2019 season. After more than a year on the sidelines, he was released from his contract in June, and has since announced his retirement after a 13-year career.
Paul Clough
While the rest of our list so far has been a story of players who didn't get to reach their full potential with the club, Cloughy had a solid three years at the Giants. His 2018 season was a particular highlight, he ended the year as our top metre maker, picked up the Coaches' Player Of The Year award and was awarded the #8 shirt for the following season.
2020 started well for Paul, as a key member of the huge bench we were fielding in the early games. Sadly he picked up an injury in the COVID-hiatus and his final Super League game would turn out to be a win over his former club St Helens in March 2020. In August he formally left the club and signed up with Widnes for the 2021 season.
Suaia Matagi
One of the more surprising departures of 2020 was Sui's move to Castleford. While he's technically out on loan, with only one year left to run on his contract it seems his time as a Giant is over. He initially signed for the 2019 season but with the Giants' unexpected play-off hopes emerging in 2018, he flew out early to feature in the Super 8s. He was one of our top metre makers in both the 2019 and 2020 seasons, and played his 50th and final game for the club against Wakefield in October.
Jordan Turner
Joining Sui at Castleford in what is almost certainly the most surprising departure ahead of the 2021 season, very few people saw JT's transfer on the cards. After a Grand Final win with St Helens and a spell down under with Canberra, Turner was granted a testimonial year for 2021, but he was one of the first to leave the club following the appointment of Ian Watson.
Jordan played 72 games for the Giants, picking up 10 tries and 19 assists. While it's not clear whether he'll be able to have a testimonial game with his new club, a special kit has been comissioned and Giants fans should make sure they're following the man himself on Twitter, to stay in the loop with any events he's able to organise throughout the year.
Ukuma Ta'ai
I won't lie - this one hurts. For the past 8 years Ukuma has always been the last player at pitchside after a game, thanking fans and taking pictures. If anyone deserved a proper send-off rather than a final consolation game behind closed doors, it was this man.
After joining the club for the memorable 2013 season, the Tongan powerhouse played just under 200 games in the Claret and Gold, scoring 47 tries, with appearances split pretty evenly between across the pack. He's been a key part of the leadership group for years, you voted him part of your Team Of The Decade for the 2010s, but after 8 years, he made the decision to join Newcastle Thunder for the 2021 season.
Aaron Murphy
Another member of our 2013 squad, Aaron Muprhy has had quite the journey at the Giants. Signed from Wakefield back in 2012, Murphy started his time at the Giants on the wing and occasionally at fullback, but , as the years went on he started to feature more in the centres, and then suddenly at Magic Weekend 2018, Chris Thorman surprised us all by playing him in the pack. How would he adapt? By getting the opening try and winning Man of the Match.
Just like Ukuma, he played 196 times for the Giants and was voted into our Fans' Team of the Decade. Murph also picked up 73 tries and 23 assists, and will link up with former teammate Danny Brough at Bradford for the 2021 season
We wish all our outgoing names luck in whatever comes next, and thanks for your time in the Claret and Gold!