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SKIPPER PLEDGES TO TURN THINGS ROUND WITH NEW DEAL

By Tom Stewart | 20/08/2014

Hull FC captain Gareth Ellis says he has taken the underachievement of this season personally as the leader of the team and is determined to put it right next season after pledging his future to the club.

The former Wests Tigers man is a long way from thinking about hanging up his boots after a fine individual season for the Black and Whites and looks set to play out his notable career at the KC Stadium after signing on until at least the end of 2016, if not longer.

Joining in somewhat of a fan fare ahead of 2013, the 33-year-old has produced some fantastic performances this season, including eight tries, despite his team struggling for form throughout the year.

But despite such a promising season personally, Ellis has only been focused on the team and has been hurt as captain that he hasn't been able to influence a more positive outcome to the season.

“I take it personally really that we haven’t achieved what we should have done this season, because I am the captain and the leader of the team,” stated Ellis, after committing his future to the club with a view to putting right a few wrongs next season.

I’m really looking forward to next year now, this new deal allows me to contribute a bit more towards where the club wants to be.

“When I first signed at the club nearly two years ago now, there was a lot of excitement about the place and I think that has maybe dwindled slightly after the difficult season we have had, so it’s nice to have the opportunity to be able to get those ambitions back on track.

The talismanic back rower added, “The ambition is still there, the owner Adam Pearson is still fully behind the club, we have a great coaching team in place, and the squad that we have got coming into next year with the youngsters coming through means that there is a bright future at the club.

“I know it has been a struggle for quite some time for Hull FC to reach their full potential, but that is the challenge for myself to be part of that development and I am hopeful it will be sooner rather later.

“This deal has given me the chance to make that happen, and with the stage I am at in my career, which could be quite daunting, it is nice to not only have the security the deal offers me but a challenge as well.”

The former Wests Tigers man is also looking forward to working with the club's new signings next season in Marc Sneyd and Leon Pryce, two players he believes can be a real hit at the Black and Whites, but most notably fellow former NRL star Mark Minichiello.

Playing against the Italian international on many an occasion down under, Ellis is confident they can form a menacing partnership as Hull’s back row.

He said, “Mark Minichiello is coming in and I obviously played against him a few times in the NRL for Gold Coast, he is a great player and he’ll be a really exciting player as well.

“I’m really looking forward to playing alongside him, and it is hard to get signings like that, he is a regular for Gold Coast and it is hard to lure them sort of players over here with how the game is going over there, so he is a great coup for the club.”

He added, “Obviously we have three games left including an important derby next week and I want us to finish on a high, but I am really looking forward to ripping into pre-season again.

“I still feel good and fresh, and I think personally I have played some of the best rugby I have ever played in Super League this year, so I think with a few additions for next year including Mark, it can only get better for me.”

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