Will Gardiner's career revelation as Hull FC coach praised for early development

Will Gardiner in Hull FC training.
-Credit: (Image: SW Pix)

Will Gardiner wants the eighty minutes he did for Hull FC reserves to become his standard going forward. The 21-year-old led from the front away at London Broncos on Saturday as Michael Shenton's side posted a 54-14 win.

Benefitting from a full pre-season in the first team, Gardiner revealed that he thrives off the second wind in games, building into the match and trusting his fitness and determination to see him through.

That was the case in the capital with Gardiner just as imposing in minute eighty as he was in minute one with Hull posted ten tries to get the job done.

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"I was really pleased to do the eighty," Gardiner told Hull Live. "Getting out of pre-season, I feel like I'm starting to peak now with my fitness. I'm ready to keep doing big stints. That's the standard for me now.

"It gives me that extra confidence and everything else. They had some big lads and it was a good challenge. It's nice to have lads like Jude (Thompson) alongside me too - he played well."

He continued: "I'm one that builds into the game. I sometimes struggle in the early stages but once I get into my groove it just comes in.

"When you get good momentum in the team you get your second wind but the lads really help you push on too. We encourage each other. It was a long trip for us but there are no excuses. We could have performed better but we've still got a good win. We're happy with it."

Training as part of Hull's first team all the way through pre-season, including two games at Sheffield and Wakefield, Gardiner has put in the mileage to ensure he's ready to do the big minutes.

Happy with his progress, he paid tribute to Tony Smith and co, who in his view, have got him in the best shape of his young career to date.

"I really enjoyed the experience of the pre-season games playing at a high level," Gardiner continued. "That's what I want to do week in and week out.

"This was my first time having that pre-season whilst a full-time player. It was a bit different but the way Tony and the staff have gone about it has been really good.

"I feel like I'm in the best shape of my life. I'm definitely the fittest I've ever been so everything has been really good for me so far."

And of course, it wouldn't be just for Gardiner not to mention his reserves coach Michael Shenton, who is getting rave reviews alongside Head of Youth Pete Riding for the work they're doing at the club.

"Shenny has had a massive part to play in me coming up to the first team," Gardiner added. "My performances and stuff like that, he has a lot of input in the way I play and what I should do.

"I really respect him as a coach and what he has to say. I always take it on board. He's played a big role in my early career."

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