Zach Jebson reveals senior Hull FC mentor after impressing in reserves victory

Hull FC youngster Zach Jebson.
-Credit: (Image: Dave Lofthouse, Hull FC)

When it comes to youth development, Hull FC are genuine. They want to bring through players from their own systems into the first-team and have significantly invested in all departments to make that goal a reality.

And whilst it’s a long-term process, the fruit is starting to bear. Over half of the Hull FC side that played in the reserves win over Bradford Bulls have first-team squad numbers, including some of the brightest young talent at the club.

One of those young stars is Zach Jebson, a teenage back row who is more than capable of doubling up as a centre. Playing his part in the 62-12 win over the Bulls, Jebson did exactly that. He was a real handful on the left edge with strong carries breaking the line and leading to tries for his team-mates.

Read more: How Hull FC's first team players got on in reserves win as centre scores four

Hailing from Hornsea, Jebson played for the academy side last year and has made the step up to first-team this season after impressing under Michael Shenton. Now it’s the eye of Tony Smith he’s looking to catch, training day in day out with the senior squad and showing his versatility.

“This is what I’ve wanted to do ever since I was a kid,” Jebson told Hull Live. “It means a lot to me. The lads are great and I’m enjoying it.

“Tony’s been really good. He’s helped me a lot with everything, back row, centre, video, he always comes to me and tells me what I’ve done well and where I can improve. He’s been great with me since the start.

“I’ve been training at both back row and centre in pre-season. I’ve been doing both as there is always that chance that I could be playing in either spot - it paid off today.”

Hull’s youngest first-team talent were joined by the likes of Kane Evans, Jamie Shaul and Darnell McIntosh in the reserves team. The trio all played their part in Saturday’s win, with Jebson revealing his senior mentor at the club.

“Kane has always been close to me and helped me out, ever since last year under Brett and now this year under Tony,” Jebson explained. “He took me under his wing straight away.

“He’s been great and really helpful. He’s a skilful player and knows so much about the game. He knows what he’s doing and he helps you out. He makes your job easier just by talking to you.”

Scoring eleven tries to defeat Bradford, the Hull side was good value. They played some slick stuff but it was also a tough gig at times against a Bradford team that was better than the end result suggests.

“I thought the boys stuck to the plan really well,” Jebson continued. “We knew it was going to be a tough game in the middle, they’re a big physical side, but we stuck together and played well.

“We’ve not been training together much as a lot of the reserves are in the first-team but the academy players coming in have done great. We’re playing well as a team which is good to see.”

And for Jebson individually, it’s just about being patient and taking his chances. The reserves next play against Warrington in two week's time.

“I always want to play - I want game time but you just have to be patient as your chance is always going to come,” Jebson added. “Last year I was playing academy and reserves, so every week I had a chance.

“Now it’s every two weeks, sometimes even longer - you just have to prep and get ready the best you can.”

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