Tony Smith backing Hull FC youth as level playing field set for full squad

-Credit: (Image: News Images)
-Credit: (Image: News Images)


Tony Smith says Hull FC’s youngsters will be better for the opportunities given to them this year. An unprecedented injury crisis saw the Black and Whites hand debuts out to six of their young players, not to mention the three loan signings.

That was the extent of the situation, but Smith says they’ll be better for it, with development the key word.

It’s all about that development for these young players, who all saw first team action towards the end of the year. However prematurely, they got their chances.

Read more: Pete Riding fully focused on Hull FC's club-wide vision with patience key for results

“They're going to be better for it,” Smith explained. “Even though it was a bit premature at times for some of them to get those opportunities but it will do them good.

"I know it hasn't been pleasant for the last couple of years with the injury list etc etc, but it happened. It gave an opportunity for those young guys to get some experience, get a taste, get some desire, some knowledge and get rid of that first time of doing things.

“We make more mistakes when we're doing things for the first time. It gets that out of the road and under their belt.”

The likes of Charlie Severs, Harvey Barron, Denive Balmforth, Davy Litten, Matty Laidlaw and Will Gardiner all made their debuts this year, with six of those players still in their teenage years.

Not that age matters to Hull’s new head coach. If they’re ready, they’ll get their chances.

“There's some exciting talent there and lots more coming through,” Smith continued. “I like people who don't worry about how old they are. I often say to people how old Andy Farrell was when he made his debut for Wigan and his country. He didn't care about age and do I - if they're ready for it, I'll throw them in. I'm happy to do so.

“The message to these young guys will be don't worry about your age - just get your bodies right, your minds right and your attitudes right and you'll get a chance.

“There's some young guys there to keep the more senior players on their toes - no-one is guaranteed. Reputation only carries you so far.

“Everyone will get their chance and it's a fresh start for all of them. It's a fresh start for me and they will have a chance to show me what they've got and prove to the coaching staff that they should be in the starting team or the seventeen. That's up to them.”

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