Hull FC forward living proof that the clubs youth systems are working

-Credit: (Image: Hull FC)
-Credit: (Image: Hull FC)

Hull FC have named their most recent first teamer in their 21-man-squad for this weekends game against Leeds, with Matty Laidlaw included for the first time. The 18-year-old has rose through the ranks over the last couple of months having impressed the coaching staff, and has followed a similar path to that of fellow young gun Davy Litten.

A product of the Hull Dockers system, Laidlaw is a prop forward who wasn't originally offered an Academy contract, but who earned it, like Litten, through the clubs college pathways after enrolling on the programme in September 2020. Another example of Hull promoting from within, it's further proof of the clubs patient and growing commitment to youth, with development very much the long-term vision.

Earning his promotion after playing for the college's rugby league outfits, Laidlaw, who has been part of the clubs Rising Stars programme for literally a matter of weeks, is a hungry player who wasted no time hitting it off in Michael Shenton's Academy side this year. He scored a try in their most recent win at Wakefield, a 30-10 triumph that also saw the likes of Denive Balmforth get over the line.

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Continuing his progress, Laidlaw has played in both of Yorkshire's games against Lancashire this season, joining the likes of Charlie Severs, Harvey Barron and Balmforth, who have also all been named in the 21 for the visit of Leeds this weekend.

It's some rise for Laidlaw, who couldn't believe it when told he would be training with the first team. “After I played in the Academy Origin match last month, Brett said he had been impressed with my progression and that he was going to invite me to join in training with the first team,” Laidlaw told the club’s official website earlier this month.

“I was absolutely buzzing when he told me and I was pretty lost for words at the time. I think I’m still lost for words now."

Brett Hodgson is also a fan of Laidlaw, saying in his pre-match press conference "I don't want to put too much pressure on them but there's Denive Balmforth and Matty Laidlaw as well who's a good kid. I'd have no problems throwing either of those two into our system if we need to."

It remains to be seen whether or not Laidlaw will make his debut against Leeds, but either way, it's been some rise for the teenager this year, with patience still very much the name of the game.


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