Matty Laidlaw sets Hull FC targets with young prop focused on key fundamentals

Matty Laidlaw in action for Hull FC.
-Credit: (Image: News Images)


Matty Laidlaw is aiming to get back to what he does best at Hull FC: hard work and nothing less. The 19-year-old is back at the club after a loan spell at Newcastle Thunder, with his goals already set.

Minutes. It's all about minutes for the fiery prop. Laidlaw is aiming to play the bigger stints, test himself, and impress the Hull hierarchy once more.

Playing around 70 minutes during Hull's 58-12 Reserves win over Newcastle on Sunday, Laidlaw did exactly what he set out to do. But this is just the start, with confidence and belief too big things on the teenager's pedestal.

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"It's good to get those minutes in," Laidlaw told Hull Live. "Recently I haven't been getting them, so it's good to build the confidence back up. It's a big positive for me.

"It was alright up there (at Newcastle)—it was physical, really physical. It's just the fitness side of it. I need to build more and more. It wasn't working out getting the big minutes in, so I thought, 'Come back down, get the foundations right, and get some bigger stints in.' That's what I need out there, and I hope I've given a good performance to start.

"Those effort areas—I pride myself on them. I'm really big on them. I just need to keep pushing with everyone and keep carrying hard. If you do it for them, then they'll do it for you, so it'll improve all of our games."

That team-first mentality was on show for the Reserves across the board, with Will Gardiner, playing alongside Laidlaw, getting through the full 80 minutes. Combined with Charlie Stipetic and, from the bench, Jude Thompson and Sam Dulson, they ensured Hull got a grip of the middle of the field after what was a competitive start.

"It's good playing with Will," Laidlaw continued. "You know that he's got your back. The same goes for Jude, Charlie, and Sam. They all played a part in that, running well, and it's given the backs a good platform to play off the back.

"Things like that just help build trust within the team. You know you've got each other's backs when that happens, and you know they're there for you when it gets tough and you're in that dogfight.

"Shenny too really encourages me to back myself. He knows what I'm capable of, so he's trying to get that back out of me. Today, I thought he did. There were parts of what I can do. It's just getting them consistently so that when we play the bigger teams at the back end of the year, I can be a part of it."

In training at Hull as part of the first-team squad, Laidlaw, who put himself about with some big carries, hits, and pushes, is now hoping to kick on. Remaining patient and developing is the key as he learns from the senior figures within the club.

"It's all positive, especially going through that rough patch," Laidlaw added. "We've been sticking together. After getting those three wins, the mood has gone sky high, and everyone is feeling good about themselves. We know we can still improve, but as for my development, it's going really well.

"Having people around like Chris (Satae), Ligi (Sao), Tag (Scott Taylor), etc, they help me. I'm still only 19; I've got a long way to go before I'm in my prime years. I just want to keep building and see what I can become in a few years' time."

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