The dust is now setting on 2017 as Hull FC go back to the drawing board for pre-season preparation and beyond.
For 2018 in come three players, Bureta Faraimo, Hakim Miloudi and the returning Mickey Paea, but the Black and Whites’ recruitment goes way beyond that, with the loan spells of three players ending, three Hull-born players that have returned to the club and will therefore spice up the competition for places.
Hull FC’s new winger; Bureta Faraimo
A like for like replacement for the NRL bound Mahe Fonua, Faraimo undoubtedly has some big boots to fill. The former has been absolutely sensational in his two seasons at Hull, but our new USA international, who probably evades Carlos Toooooooomavave as FC’s new tricep king, has the capability to match his predecessor. In and amongst looking at cat and dog memes on the web, some brief YouTube footage of Bureta shows a scary likening to Mahe. He’s a very similar sort of player, a player Lee Radford tried to sign before, and a player he knows all too well. A frightening fact in itself Bureta is actually bigger than Mahe, and is arguably a bit quicker too. He’s a good finisher and packs a punch. If he comes with the right attitude, which we’re sure he will, then it’ll be a good match for both parties.
Hull FC’s new French star; Bienvenue Hakim Miloudi
Those that can be bothered to venture to Brantingham Park to sample overpriced beer and insect bites got a taste for Hakim during a Reserve fixture against St Helens back in June. The French star was exciting to watch and attacking wise superb. He’s got a fend, step and turn of pace that can carve opposition defences up at any level. Spending some time with Doncaster towards the latter stages of 2017, Miloudi got a taste for the game of rugby league in this country. He’s been taking English lessons too, mastered the pronunciation of “yer know”, and has settled into life living in Hull. He’ll get opportunities next season for sure, and Radford and co given the brief evidence we’ve seen, may well have just unearthed a gem.
The return of the Tongan terrier; Mickey Paea
Us Black and Whites, thanks to another one biting the dust in East Hull, know all too well what Mickey is all about. He realised the grass is greener west of the river and signed for FC ahead of 2014, and now returns after two years in Australia. Both big and strong with a good leg drive, the prop forward doesn’t need any introductions, but what we do know is he’ll add fire and punch to the pack, which can only be a good thing. With Liam Watts likely to move into the loose man / third middle (Up the Middle) role, Mickey will likely partner Scott Taylor in the front row, which is an intimidating prospect for anyone.
The loanees are back..
Jordan Thompson’s departure to Leigh this week may have been a surprise to some, but what it does allow is the further development of the clubs younger players. The likes of Brad Fash stood up massively in 2017 and with the faith to allow similar players the chance to climb higher in the pecking order, the opportunities will be there for the likes of Dean Hadley, Jordan Abdull and Jack Logan to stake similar claims.
Salary cap restraints were believed to be the main reason for Hadley’s season long loan to Wakefield, but regardless of financial restrictions, what it did do was give the 25-year-old regular playing time, something which was vital to him at this stage of his career. Agent Chessie, adding to his comedy brilliance during his reign in East Hull, did us a massive favour here. Hadley definitely had a successful stay in West Yorkshire, and the experience will do him the world of good. We all know what he’s about now. A grafter, he runs great lines and is defensively sound too. He won’t want to sit on the fringes either and he’ll be fighting for a regular place in 2018.
Abbo had a domineering season against the part timers in the Championship and was considered by many Rovers’ best player for 2017. Confirmed as a Black and White for next year, the talented pivot will be looking to regain his place in the side, but where he fits in is open for debate. He trimmed off a lot of weight (presumably adding the salad option to his mixed kebabs) and looked at home in the halves. Will he want to play second fiddle to Sneyd and Kelly though? Probably not. In his last appearance for Hull he came off the bench at Wigan and changed the game. Abbo was terrific that night. He played as a third pivot and allowed our halves at the time to play wider making the side more comfortable and dangerous in attack. Some food for thought at least.
Returning from a long term knee injury, Jack spent some time in the Reserves set up and played for Doncaster towards the end of the year. He’s done well to get back up and running again after what was a horrendous set back, and with a full pre-season behind him, will look for a first grade return in 2018. He’s a talented player is Jack and is as passionate as they come. He’s just a Hull lad with the sole ambition to play for his hometown club. Can’t wait to see him in full flight next year.
Will there likely be any further signings? Probably not. Do we need further signings? No. There’s enough quality in this squad and 2018 will be about giving the Hull-born lads their chances too. The likes of Fashy, Janno, Masi, Jack Downs and even Jez Litten will hopefully kick on. There’s a good blend here and we’re confident that AP will be reordering his silver polish at some stage next season.