Hull FC Challenge Cup winning legend Gareth Ellis is open to the possibility of playing on in 2020, despite being 39-years-young next May.
Ellis, on a diet of what we presume is spinach, red meat, and Bobby Bouche’s finest quality H20, claims to be fit and healthy, but most importantly happy about returning to the field this season.
His performances don’t lie. The once in a generation player, Hull have won nine of the eleven games Ellis has played in this year. On the contrary, Hull have lost five of the seven he has missed.
“There’s a temptation to carry on,” Ellis explained in the latest issue of League Express. “I’m enjoying it so much. I feel a lot less pressure. I’m not captain of the club anymore, and I know what my role is – I play 40 or 50 minutes of the game and I get my head down.
“I made the decision to retire in 2017 on the back of probably not enjoying the game anymore. But this time it’s my decision and I’m enjoying it. I’m making the most of the opportunity.
“There’s a long way to go this season, so we will see how things go. If I feel like I’ve got something to offer the team and I can contribute to the performance and the culture, then there’s no reason why I wouldn’t play another year. I’m in a good place with it. There’s a lot to weigh up, but I’m certainly not ruling it out.”
Ellis is no idiot. He knows that would bring another gruel pre-season campaign, but there’s that chance to get a taste of more glory with Hull FC.
But focusing on this year, the Airlie Birds are just eighty minutes away from another return to Wembley, and Ellis is hellbent to get there.
“When you’re playing you never get the chance to enjoy what you’re doing,” he said. “It wasn’t until I finished that I got to look back on my career and appreciate what I’ve achieved.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen my name engraved on the Challenge Cup trophy and it’s quite magical. Nobody can take that away from me and it’s a piece of history. It’s a real honour.
“It’s funny, because when I came out of retirement a few mentioned the chance of getting back to Wembley again. I never thought I’d get a chance to play on that kind of stage again, but to do would be very special.”
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