The idea of a player facing his former employer is common place in the modern age of sport.
Athletes regularly face off against former teammates with the hope of ‘getting one over’ the people you used to plot victory with.
The term ‘journeyman’ is used to describe the almost mercenary view that most sportsmen can employ when moving from the club. The one club men, Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton, Lawrence Dallaglio, and Tim Rodber are becoming an extinct breed of athlete.
This weekend will see a journeyman who has found a home at Lockwood Park face his former team. National League 3 top point’s scorer and Huddersfield Fly-Half Tom Hodson is a former member of the Sandal playing squad.
Not only is he a former member of the squad he was something of youth prodigy, taking up the egg shaped ball at a very early age: “I started playing Rugby for Sandal at six years of age, watching my brother play was a massive motivation to play for myself and my dad encouraged me all the way”.
Hodson fills the quarter back role at Huddersfield. The fly half and play maker general has steered Field to some impressive victories this season and his sold kicking form has seen him reach the top of the points scoring league in National League 3.
This season has seen Tom make the number ten shirt his own but according to him it’s not the only position he is accustom to performing in: “I grew up playing scrum-half but I also moved to wing and full back I enjoyed the space and was able to read the game well and then I found I played well at fly-half as well”.
Tom’s versatility did not only lend him to different positions in the fifteen man code. His impressive overall skill set lead to him venturing into the thirteen man code and playing Rugby League. Originally signing for Wakefield Wildcats when he was 19, Tom then moved to play for Doncaster in the Rugby League Championship One. It was at Doncaster where he secured his first league title following honours accumulated representing Yorkshire in the national county championships.
From Doncaster he then moved to the prestigious Rugby League Championship club Featherstone, where he truly found his feet: “I was playing well at Featherstone I scored 12 tries in 15 appearances but I was lured away to Huddersfield before the end of the season so I missed out on winning the Championship”.
Tom was lured to Huddersfield by Coach Ian Shuttleworth but the with attraction of returning to the code he played as boy there wasn’t much persuading required: “Shutts showed an interest in me coming to Huddersfield and that fit perfectly with me becoming a teaching assistant at my old school in Wakefield”.
With the prospect of facing his former club the challenge awaiting Hodson this weekend. One hurdle this season has already been tackled. His reliable boot and attacking verve has seen the tag of journeyman well and truly sheathed from around Hodson’s shoulders. The Lockwood faithful have taken to him as if he was one of their own and they will expecting their faith to repaid in points on the scoreboard against Sandal.