John Cartwright ideologies meet Hull FC needs as duo align in way of thinking

Hull FC have confirmed their new head coach for the 2025 season, with John Cartwright signed and sealed on a three-year deal. And while the 58-year-old Australian has a job to complete for the rest of the current season at current club Brisbane Broncos, there's no mistaking that he'll still have an eye on the Black and Whites between now and the autumn months as he prepares for his new challenge.

Of course, it’s a massive task ahead for Cartwright to turn the club's fortunes around, and it's no overnight fix to get it competing in the right half of Super League again. There's a lot of hard work ahead, with the Penrith-born coach aiming to drive new standards, hunger, and desire, with his first words since his appointment was confirmed centred on fitness, enjoyment, and the like.

Understood to be heavily influenced on the defensive side of the game, as per his current role with Brisbane, Cartwright will hope to install qualities that are much-needed at the club while bringing the necessary discipline, identity, leadership, and management it craves. He's clearly a coach who has done his homework, and he knows what's needed.

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Cartwright is also the experienced appointment the club desired, even if he isn’t the British coach that was originally sought in Paul Rowley. Still, it takes nothing away from the Aussie, who’s CV contains impressive spells at a number of NRL clubs, first as a player at his beloved Penrith Panthers and then in various coaching roles at Gold Coast Titans, North Queensland Cowboys, etc.

However, Cartwright’s most recent job is perhaps his most impressive. Since joining Brisbane in 2021, he has helped, along with Kevin Walters and, more recently, Lee Briers, turn that club around. Handed the wooden spoon in 2020, they had one hand on the NRL Premiership last season before 15 minutes of sheer Nathan Cleary brilliance secured Penrith their historic three-peat.

So, Cartwright has pedigree; that’s not up for debate, and he has respect from those in the Australian game whose opinions truly matter—cue Waters' statement via the Broncos website this Wednesday. "He has played a huge role here at the Broncos since joining us in 2021 and has been a big part of turning things around," Walters said. "We are looking forward to the rest of this season with Carty here at the Broncos as we work towards winning a Premiership for the club."

Evidently, Cartwright's capture is a solid and high-profile appointment from Hull, who broadened their head coach search after a domestic acquisition proved unlikely. It’s also a new pair of eyes and a completely new outlook with Cartwright, who has several months to get up to speed with the Super League competition, set to bring experience and different methods from a 25-year coaching career that cannot be undervalued.

Most importantly, it’s an appointment that aligns with Richie Myler’s way of thinking. And as for the elephant in the room, Cartwright has already declared he will have a say on recruitment, working in tandem with the club’s Director of Rugby this summer.

Hull have been busy in the transfer market already, bringing in the likes of John Asiata, Zak Hardaker, Oliver Holmes, and Amir Bourouh, and that isn’t expected to change anytime soon, with Myler and Cartwright searching both the NRL and Super League competitions for more new players, particularly a new half-back. That ultimately is the biggest piece of the puzzle, with the club known to be interested in Jordan Abdull for one.

Of course, finding experience to go in tune with the club’s promising youth is the balance Hull are looking to find heading into next year, with Myler also hoping to oversee and improve every aspect of performance, with changes expected in the backroom department to go alongside the opening of a new club hub at the university.

All of those aspects will be crucial, with Cartwright, who is set to be backed from all corners of the Black and Whites, expected to raise standards throughout the whole club. It’s a big challenge ahead, and he's going to need both time and patience, but with the scope to bring in new talent and stamp his own mark with a playing identity that everyone can get behind, it's certainly an exciting one.

Read more: Simon Grix shares stance on Hull FC future and John Cartwright appointment