He will Kop it from fans but not from me, says Diskin of former Bradford Bulls team-mate (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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He will Kop it from fans but not from me, says Diskin of former Bradford Bulls team-mate
Kopczak will face his hometown club for the first time since his controversial departure shortly before the end of last season.
The highly-rated prop from Eccleshill terminated his Bulls contract and withdrew his services ahead of the trip to Catalan Dragons on the final day of the season.
He has since penned a three-year deal at Huddersfield and will line up against the Bulls for the table-topping Giants tomorrow as they seek to record a fifth straight Super League win.
Joint Bulls captain Diskin – aiming to shake off a dead leg and be passed fit – can see why supporters were left upset by the manner of Kopczak’s departure.
But he also insisted he held no grudges against the Wales international, who failed to tell his team-mates he had left the club prior to the trip to Perpignan.
Diskin said: “The fans are never going to see Craig’s side of it and that’s just the reality of it.
“If you try and look at it independently, you can sort of see why Craig did it but how he went about it and how we conducted himself could have probably been a little bit better.
“But you wish him all the best and he’s done very well at his new club. He’s a good bloke and a fantastic player with a big future ahead of him.”
Kopczak has encountered the Bulls squad since his departure as both clubs used the same training facility at Huddersfield during pre-season.
Diskin explained: “We’ve bumped into him at Huddersfield during the winter and he has done things that are right for him and his family going forward.
“Craig’s moved on, we’ve moved on, and we’re all looking forward to the future.
“There’s no animosity from our point of view with Craig.
“Players have to do what’s right for them – it’s just that how he went about things is maybe questionable to some people.”
Diskin, meanwhile, has urged his side to be quicker out of the blocks tomorrow as they bid to avoid the kind of start which effectively put paid to their hopes of victory against St Helens last weekend.
Francis Cummins’ men fell 20-0 behind inside the opening quarter and never recovered.
Diskin accepts they can ill afford another slow start against a Giants side missing Stuart Fielden but who could include four former Bulls in Kopczak, Brett Ferres, Larne Patrick and Joe Wardle.
Diskin added: “We let the Saints game run away in the first 15 minutes by allowing them to play.
“You can’t give teams like Saints a head start because falling 20 points behind so quickly is almost unrecoverable.
“There are elements of our game which are improving, and we’re getting there, but we’ve got to compete better at the start.
“You can look back in hindsight and point your finger at certain things but before the game our preparation was good.
“Saints just got out of the blocks a lot quicker, which sometimes happens.
“They built some momentum early on and we struggled to stop that.
“We’ve had a couple of convincing wins at home against teams who I believe we should be beating regularly.
“Some of the so-called bigger teams – the top five teams – we have struggled a little bit with, especially at the start of games. We need to be better.”
The former Leeds hooker is expecting a stern test from Huddersfield and their hulking pack.
Diskin said: “They have emulated last season’s start, where they get off to a flier.
“They’ve got a big set of forwards who are dominating games at the moment and they deserve to be where they are in the table.
“All across the board they have been very, very strong – they’re a big, athletic side with some really skilful players.
“Shaun Lunt is in fantastic form and then you’ve got Danny Brough and Luke Robinson.
“Right across the board they’re in fine form.”