Jacob Hookem is this week’s Hull FC Academy Player in Focus as we profile some of the Black & Whites’ future stars throughout pre-season, in association with academy partners G&J Staffing.
The young half-back, who has already represented England Youth on the international stage, appeared for the FC first-team during pre-season in 2020, as well as several reserves fixtures.
We caught up with Jacob to find out a little bit more about his background:
Tell us a little about your Rugby League background.
I started in Rugby League at East Hull when I was five years old, and played there until I was 15 when I joined Skirlaugh. I spent two years there before being picked up by the club in their Scholarship side.
Which professional players do you look up to?
Coming through those two clubs has given me plenty of players to look up to. Obviously Danny Houghton came through at East Hull and there are lots of the current first-team that played at Skirlaugh so that gives me extra motivation.
The Academy was back to being under the Hull FC badge last year – how do you feel about that?
Playing back under that Hull FC badge gives us more of an identiy, and the pathway for us is a lot clearer. You know what you have to do to progress to the next level instead of no knowing where you’re going.
You’ve done a bit of training with the first-team haven’t you?
I’ve done a bit of work with Marc Sneyd – he’s really good at picking up on the little things and helping me improve my game. He helped me become more game smart – not just which plays to run, but which ones to do.
And how as playing for the first-team during pre-season last year?
Playing in those matches is a really good learning curve for me. Even just being in the changing rooms around those professional players and seeing how they conduct themselves around their matches.
You’ve already played for the England Youth team – how was that experience?
It was a great experience for me to train and play with England. It was full on training twice a day, but that strong effort showed in the games and it helped us get them two wins.