After watching the Wigan and Castleford games at the KC I have discovered two things. Firstly, I can forget those six monthly blood pressure checks at the local Quacks because, after all that drama, I know that the old tickers’ still working fine. Indeed I can also confirm that I won’t be running to the bottle when I receive mind numbing disappointments either; fact is, I don’t run anywhere these days anyway.
Going to Widnes was useful too if only to confirm that my bowels are working okay and that despite my years, I can still sit in a traffic jam on a motorway for nearly four hours without peeing myself. Then there was the Wakefield game which proved that there’s nothing wrong with my brains ability to concentrate in the most mundane of situations either. So, thank-you Hull FC, you’ve saved the NHS thousands, because if any of my faculties were in need of being tested, these last few weeks have certainly done it.
When I started writing this tripe over a year ago, I thought by issue three I would have run out of things to talk about but in modern day Rugby League there’s always something, or somebody, who seems to get up this old codgers nose. For a start off this month there’s good old Mr Hudgell and this time it’s his involvement with this bloody stupid merged academy which continues to irritate us all in Club….intensely. He conned us into it in the first place, we’re convinced of that but why shouldn’t he have? Last year Hull had an exceptional crop of youngsters with five or six signed up to the first-team squad, while the ‘Desperate Dobbins’ had one, which shows exactly what his motives were.
All that ‘ring-fencing’ bollocks will soon pass too, as we are already hearing rumours of them trying to poach one of our young half backs, on whom over the years we have invested a fortune. Harry in Club reckons it’s just a conspiracy by Mr H to get his hands on the talent we have nurtured and developed through our own Under 19’s set up and few of us would disagree with him on that one.
When Hudgell’s mate James Webster was appointed as Coach of the merged academy, I thought it was an okay move. I didn’t mind him being in charge because although I abhor anything that sees us getting into bed with that crowd, he’s a decent bloke and a proven coach, who I have met a time or two (well he was decent, until he got the Rovers job, now for many he’s just consigned to being the latest in a long line of daft lads).
The annoying thing for us lot in Club is that to plicate us all we were told when we merged the Academy’s that we would be able to pool our resources and that would mean spending double the money on an established coach to head things up. We did that initially with Webbo, so fair play. However, now he has decided to ‘leave’, we’re left with two blokes who were already on the pay roll in different capacities, neither of whom has any sort of coaching pedigree. It’s hardly what we were promised is it? THEN, when we discover one of them is Jason Netherton we all simply despaired. Not the guy who has over the years made a full time occupation of insulting my Club and its fans? On occasions on social media he’s even had me cringing at his crudity and as our lass says, that certainly takes some doing. Neutral my arse.
That merger still stinks and I wasn’t too impressed either when, on the back of less than 200 turning up to watch the new academy’s first game against Leeds, that bloody Craig Murdoch character was telling us FC fans to go and watch them. What the hell did he expect? You see Mr Murdoch, although we all gave up our Sunday afternoon session in Club to travel twelve miles to watch our under 23’s first game at Brantingham, we don’t bloody want a merged anything with Rovers and although it’s not the kids fault, we wouldn’t cross the road to watch that new set up.
That whole Chester sacking business was a farce too, I mean to say if a bloke was crap enough to get the boot three games into a season, he was hardly bloody good enough before it started was he? But therein lies another issue really because although there were a few raised eyebrows across the world of Rugby League at such a high profile sacking so soon after the start of the season, what exactly do they expect? The actions over at Caravan Park are a firm reminder of how Rugby League has changed in the last 18 months. Pre the new fangled league structure the sport was at least being built up through stability and financial consolidation.
With no relegation to worry about, clubs were starting to build without stress and taking their time with things. They were promoting their youngsters and appointing young, hungry British coaches who had plenty of potential. Chester’s now gone and so has my all time hero Brian Smith, which just goes to prove that following the ‘revolution’ it’s not a structured overall development of the game we are looking at, but rather just a cut throat, dog eat dog business.
Look at the last twelve months or so and what this pumping up of the pressure has brought to the game. We have seen our two Hull academies scrapped (or merged as they would have us believe), buses being put on free of charge for fans because no one wants to go to Thursday games, the salary cap being allegedly ‘fiddled’ left, right and centre (and in Salford) and with only five games gone two Coaches had already departed Super League. It’s simply now survival of the most devious as everyone tries to avoid the drop at all costs. It’s certainly a much more volatile and uncertain environment and although it suits Sky TV and the other dicks in the media, in the long term it could just see the game descend into chaos.
Of course on a more local note the last month has seen us lot at Hull FC have our own problems too. How is it that we always seem to do well for a couple of games before totally collapsing? As I said earlier, I went to Widnes and boy what a bloody showing up that was. Not satisfied in displaying to the whole rugby league world how crap we can be without even trying much, we then have to endure our coach announcing that the players had locked him out of the bloody dressing room. Don’t be too surprised if next time we decide to revamp our backroom staff Mr Radford’s new appointments include a locksmith.
So, it’s been another typical start to the season for yours truly and no doubt for most of you reading this. Our early season hopes have already receded somewhat, but at least there was the distraction of that silly bugger’s self imposed siege on the roofs of Cholmley Street. That made the national papers and gave the city some profile. In addition to that it also got me out of the house, as for two days we all stood captivated in the hope that he’d either fall off or at least be granted his two demands; a helicopter and a packet of digestive biscuits. City of Culture? You couldn’t make it up could ya.
What will April bring? Who the hell knows… Gerrum in.