Written by John Davidson
Photo by Hull FC
Hull FC head coach Tony Smith says there is a desire for his club to break into Super League’s monopoly at the top end of the table, but his players have to believe it will happen.
Smith has been given the reins after the axing of Brett Hodgson. The Black & Whites struggled in 2022, finishing ninth and winning just 11 of 27 games.
Hull FC have never won Super League and the club’s last championship was secured in 1983.
The east Yorkshire won back-to-back Challenge Cups in 2016 and 2017, securing third place finishes in both season, and reached the grand final in 2006.
But the club has missed out on the playoffs for the past two seasons and veteran coach Smith, who has arrived from neighbours Hull KR, knows that is not nearly enough.
“It’s a club that I’ve looked at over the years and probably thought ‘it’s a big club’. And it is a big club,” he told Everything Rugby League.
“Having lived there I recognise it even more. The easiest way I can explain it is I’m doubtful you can get in a car or drive or walk down a street and not see someone wearing a black and white jersey.
“They’re a sleeping giant, it’s been called that for a number of years. They’ve had some success, Radders did a great job with them.
“There’s a great desire for them to do well in the league.”
We're heading for a huge crowd for Sunday's Round One clash against @CTRLFC – it's going to be some afternoon at the MKM Stadium! 🥳🎉
🚨 The East Stand is now sold out, with only limited seating now available in all other stands.
⚫️⚪️ #COYH pic.twitter.com/oi7g0q9tt7
— Hull FC (@hullfcofficial) February 14, 2023
Smith’s older brother Brian enjoyed success with Hull FC in the late 1980s and himself won trophies with Leeds and Warrington.
The 56-year-old is eager to propel the Black & Whites into the top echelon of the competition along with the likes of St Helens, Wigan and Leeds, but won’t set a timeframe on when that will be achieved.
“There’s a strong desire from our supporters to break into that top crew, the top four and five [clubs],” he said.
“The players are a bit sick of sitting on the outside of that.
“That’s our desire, but how long that’s going to take I can’t tell you.
“We’re not going to make any of those sort of promises.
“I think it will happen, I believe it will be happen. It’s getting the players to believe it will happen.
“Timeframes? I can’t tell you that.”
Hull FC start the new season at home against Castleford on February 19.
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