Written by Callum Walker
For Olly Russell, it’s been a case of trying to escape the limelight provided by grandfather Jimmy and dad Richard.
Whilst the former starred for Huddersfield – the club which 21-year-old Russell is now at – his father was an integral part of the Oldham, Wigan and Castleford set-ups.
Confidence clearly runs through the family as when Russell was just a teenager, he left the Wigan academy to join Huddersfield, making his debut in 2018.
“I left halfway through my second year to join up with Huddersfield,” told Everything Rugby League
“I made my debut in 2018 and it was a dream come true. It was also something I didn’t expect to do in that season still being in the academy.
“I went on to make five appearances that year which was a bonus. The debut was also more special for me because Jake Wardle made his debut on the same day.
“We got the win whilst the first-team was on a bit of a losing streak which really made it more special.”
Halfback or hooker Russell has spent time on loan at Leigh, Batley and Workington, experiences which he is grateful for.
“I certainly enjoyed my short time at all of these clubs.
“They gave me some vital experience, playing more first-team rugby and it definitely helped me to get used to the physical aspect.”
Russell knows he has his work cut out to get in front of Aidan Sezer and Lee Gaskell in the halves for the Giants, but he is hopeful his time will come.
“My goals for 2021 are to keep improving my game and learning off the older halfbacks in the squad like Sezer and Gaskell and to try and play a few more games than I did in 2020.”
Huddersfield are rebuilding under new boss Ian Watson with the likes of Luke Yates, Jack Ashworth and Ricky Leutele all moving to the John Smith’s Stadium and that has left Russell believing that the Giants can win silverware in 2021.
“With the squad we have built, I can see us pushing for silverware.
“With the first week of pre-season nearly done, I can feel Watto (Ian Watson) is going to get the best out of all of us.
“With the group of young lads and the experience that has been brought in, there is no reason why we can’t be picking up silverware.
“I’m really excited to see where this squad can go this season.”