Herman Ese'ese makes 'next level' plea as Hull FC prop gears up for final derby

Herman Ese'ese has had a strong first season at Hull FC.
-Credit: (Image: SW Pix)

The thought of Herman Ese'ese going to another level is a pretty scary one, at least for the opposition, but for the Hull FC prop forward, that's exactly what he's intending to do.

Ese'ese has been the Black and Whites' biggest shining light this season. Nominated for the Super League Player of the Month for June, the 29-year-old has a stellar first year in the UK, leading the way for Hull each week with his thunderous carries and strong offload game.

But for the former New Zealand and Samoa representative, there's still another gear to hit, with Ese'ese, who's grateful for all the support he's recieved from team-mates, coaches, and fans alike since arriving at the club on a three-year deal, confident he can get even better in Simon Grix's side.

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Speaking to Hull Live, the front-rower said: "I'm really happy with my form and how I've been going, but I still have a lot of room for improvement. I think I can go to another level. I'm just really grateful to all of the boys, who have welcomed me in ever since I got here. They've let me play my game and given me the confidence to do what I love week in and week out.

"Grixy has been really helpful as well. It's my first season here in Super League and he's given me that freedom to play my game and do what I do best. That's all I was looking for, to play my game and help the team. It's great to show some form but that's all because of Grixy, the boys, and their confidence in me.

"They have all helped me out a lot, and my partner as well. I spend most of my time with them, my partner and my dog. I play a bit of golf as well. The fans have been really welcoming too. I get a lot of messages and just seeing them out and about is nice. It's all been going well, but I'm not looking too far ahead. I just want to do my best for this team, this club, and this city."

Playing big minutes every week, that confidence and support is huge for Ese'ese, who racked up 135 metres from his 20 carries away at Salford last week. Those figures have been consisent throughout the year, with only Leeds prop Mikolaj Oledzki posting more in the front row postion all season.

Reflecting on his involvements, Ese'ese, who has missed just two games all year, continued: "Getting an early involvement is important to me. I try and go looking for the first contact either in defence or to get the ball and take the first hit up. Throughout my whole career, I've always wanted to get invovled early and settle the jitterbugs.

"That's a confidence thing and it's been great to see the boys looking more confident heading into recent games. There's a lot that has been going on in the last couple of months, and our confidence was shot, but we're gelling well together now and showing effort, week in and week out. We're really confident now heading into every game."

Next up for Hull is Saturday's derby game, with Ese'ese, who branded his first experience as a 'crazy' event looking to get the win the side carve. Second best in both early season meetings, there's now a chance, even if under-strength, to set the record straight.

"It hasn't been the season we all wanted, but there's still 11 games left," Ese'ese added. "We want to finish strong and there's no better win than getting one in a Hull derby. We've got a better team now compared to what we had in the last game. We're pretty confident and we'll see how we go.

"It's the third and last time playing them this season, so it will be good to get this last win against them at home in front of our fans. It's a really important game for us, it's a special occasion for both teams and the city, so I'm really looking forward to it.

"The first one was crazy. It's something that I'd never experienced in my career before. It was a crazy atmosphere. Before I got here, people were speaking highly of it, but it's not until you get out onto the field and the chants and the lighting and the fireworks and everything, it's crazy, so hopefully, it's like that again on Saturday.

"I'm really excited. Coming here, I knew this was a massive rugby league city. They're both passionate about their teams, not just their rugby league, but their soccer as well. It's a massive footy town with a crazy support base. It's exactly what I expected."

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