Boots 'n' All: Stuart Fielden reflects on his Super League career

Last Updated: 03/09/13 4:45pm

Stuart Fielden admits he is still coming to terms with not playing rugby league at the highest level after he was forced to retire from the sport because of a knee infection.

The 33-year-old joined Huddersfield Giants on a two-year deal before the start of the season but after just nine league appearances, he announced his retirement this August.

"I have always tried my hardest and done anything I could to make myself better, not just for myself but also for my team."

Stuart Fielden

Fielden enjoyed a glittering career, which included four Super League Grand Final triumphs and commanding the biggest transfer fee in Super League history when he joined Wigan in 2006 for around £450,000.

He is now part of Paul Anderson's coaching team at the Giants, who can seal the Super League Leaders' Shield with victory over Wakefield this weekend.

But despite moving into a coaching role and being able to reflect on such a successful playing career, which also included 35 appearances for Great Britain, Fielden still craves the intensity and competition of match day.

"I can't say that I relish game days," he told Boots 'n' All.

"It's half I like watching the boys because they are doing so well and I want them to do well and I want to do anything I can to help - but the other half of me hates it because I am not there and now I will never be there again.

"That is something that you have to come to terms with. I think I have but then again I am not sure."

Greedy

Fielden won three Grand Finals, two Challenge Cups and three World Club Challenge titles in eight seasons with Bradford before picking up a further Super League title with Wigan in 2010.

Asked if he is satisfied with his career achievements, he said: "So far I have not really had the chance to sit down and think about it.

"If you ask any kid, will you take it right now? They would probably say 'yes'. I think I will be honest and say I am greedy and I want to carry on winning. I want to carry on playing but unfortunately that is not going to happen."

Although it would be in a coaching capacity, Fielden could well return to the Grand Final this year with the Giants, who have set the pace in Super League this season and will be among the favourites - if not the favourites - for the title.

"I think it is the performance in those big games which has changed for Huddersfield this year," he said. "They have not failed in those crunch games.

"In the league against the big teams, they have beaten Wigan twice, Leeds three times, Saints twice - and the point is that these big games when you have to win."

In reflecting on his career, Fielden added: "I have always tried my hardest and done anything I could to make myself better, not just for myself but also for my team. In regards to my career, it has been great. I have met so many good people along the way.

"Rather than cursing what you have got now, you have to remember what you had and be thankful for all the people that helped you as well as be thankful for the things you did have.

"You should never forget all those people."