Hull FC head coach Brett Hodgson has explained that Sunday’s friendly against Bradford is an opportunity for younger members of the squad to prove they are capable of performing at a higher level.
Hodgson has named a young squad for Sunday’s clash against the Betfred Championship side at Odsal Stadium, with no less than twelve youth players named in the side from across the club’s Academy and Reserves squads, and the Rising Stars group.
A total of seventeen players involved this weekend have come through the Hull FC development system, and fourteen are either currently or previously involved in the club’s education programme as part of the Centre of Excellence.
Looking ahead to the clash, Hodgson said: “This weekend ultimately is about setting the right standard for us for the season, and that all revolves around the effort areas.
“We’re going to keep it simple this weekend because of the number of young players that are coming into the squad with a couple of senior boys that can help out. For those young players it’s about taking the work we’ve put into them over the last few months and showing it out on the field.
“There are a number of Reserves and Academy boys coming up this weekend and there’s not a lot of connection in what they’ve done over the last few months but it gives a chance for one of those players to stand out and show they’ve got the effort to play at this level.
“They’ll be tested this weekend, Bradford played okay against Batley but I’m sure we’ll see a better team this weekend.”
Brad Fash will captain the Black & Whites for the first time this weekend, as one of only a handful of senior players set to be involved in the clash, with Hodgson explaining the appointment is well deserved.
“Brad Fash is going to lead the team this weekend, which I am hugely excited about and I think is a great reward for what he’s done for the club over a number of years. Ligi Sao will play, Cameron Scott, Jamie Shaul, Jordan Johnstone and maybe one or two other senior players will be involved
“Fashy is a man of few words but there was a big smile on his face when I told him he would lead the team. I’m hugely excited about it and it’s a great reward for Brad and we’re really happy for Brad.”
Hodgson also praised his former teammate Danny Brough, with whom he played with at Huddersfield Giants during the 2010 season, with Sunday’s match set to act as a testimonial fixture for the 2005 Challenge Cup winner.
“Broughy is probably the best kicker of the ball I saw over here. He was a little competitor and probably one of the more competitive players I encountered over here.
“He actually brought out the best in me playing against him because I knew I had to be on my game and coping with his kicks and was on my own game compared to what he could do. He’s gone out with a great career and well respected.
“I knew Danny had a talent and was naturally gifted from the start!”