Hull FC parted company with Brett Hodgson on Monday afternoon following two years as the club’s head coach.
A massive job, the task ahead was in some respects a thankless one. With contracts tied up and not a lot of room to work with, retention and recruitment were both crucial. But did Hull get the bits they could do right? Here Hull Live looks at all the wheeling and dealing done in that time.
Josh Reynolds – One of Hull’s biggest ever deals and the alternative to Benji Marshall who legitimately came close to signing for the Black and Whites. Unfortunately, this one just didn’t work out, with both the player and club coming to an agreement to release him in June this year. Ironically Hull’s form then went really sour following Reynolds’ departure and clearly the problems go deeper than a failed halfback on far too much money, but he will still be remembered for all the wrong reasons.
Read more: Hull FC blame game ends now as players only have themselves left to look at
Mitieli Vulikijapani – Signed as a project and has shown gradual improvement since. He’s a good player to have around and won’t be breaking the bank.
Jack Logan – Signed on a short loan deal and played just the one game before a Covid outbreak shut the club down for a month.
Bureta Faraimo, Marc Sneyd, Mahe Fonua, Masimbaashe Matongo – Salford had a three-year contract on the table for Sneyd and given Hull had little intention to keep him past his then current deal which expired in 2022, they did the right thing by the player. Elsewhere, it just didn’t work out for Fonua at Hull second time round and similarly in the decision to release Faraimo, a new direction of winger was prefered by Hodgson, with mobility and speed on the shopping list.
Darnell McIntosh – Started well in a Hull shirt after a serious Achilles injury that ended his Huddersfield career and finished the year as their top try-scorer with 13. He hasn’t been perfect but he has shown himself to be a lethal finisher who also grafts hard. Deserves a full pre-season to get fully fit again and should be judged next year.
Luke Gale – Sneyd’s replacement and also given the captaincy. Just didn’t get going, too many suspensions derailed the first half of the season and despite one or two glimmers of hope, ultimately, the pressure got to him in the second. A poor signing and the latest to enter the graveyard of FC halfbacks.
Joe Lovodua – The Fijian’s first half of the season was sublime as he showed his flair in the off-half position. Being constantly moved around ended up doing him no favours and he struggled at times as Hull’s form dipped in the second half of the year. There are questions now to where he fits in next year with Houghton and Dwyer both on the books.
Kane Evans – One the club had their eye on for years. Got better and better as the year went on but another disrupted with suspensions and niggly injuries. Finished strong, but got to hit the ground running next year and lead by example.
Jack Walker, Josh Simm, Ellis Longstaff – The former two did a job for Hull in their time at the club but it was Longstaff who stayed the longest and excelled the most. Playing ten games, the graft he put in every week was in the top bracket. Proper effort player and was rewarded for that with his tries. Many fans now hope the signing will become a permanent one, although there is some negotiating to do with Warrington on that front.
Will Smith – An emergency short-term signing to cover the exit of Reynolds. Had some moments at Toulouse on his debut but sadly his Derby performance was an awful way to bow out and he’s now returned to Australia. Not one Hull fans will remember fondly.
Josh Reynolds, Luke Gale, Manu Ma’u, Jordan Johnstone, Josh Bowden, Marcus Walker, Aidan Burrell, Will Smith – You’d struggle to argue that there are any wrong decisions here. Given mid-season form, you could say Ma’u, but his injuries have derailed his year and his age doesn’t meet Hull’s current direction.
Jake Trueman, Tex Hoy, Liam Sutcliffe, Brad Dwyer – An exciting halfback who was bang in from prior to his ACL injury, a talented and rapid pivot from the NRL, an experienced player that can play multiple positions and a livewire hooker to inject some pace at dummy half. That’s not a bad start at all, but there’s still some wheeling and dealing to come with a quota spot and bit of salary cap space to play with.
Overall, it’s a mixed list here with some positive acquisitions but also with some deals that Hull would like to forget. On the back of eighth and ninth placed finishes in Super League, it’s crucial that the club, both the new head coach and those above, get it right with whatever comes next.
Tony Smith declares interest in Hull FC job following Brett Hodgson’s sacking
Hull FC supporters take aim at players after Brett Hodgson’s exit
New Hull FC head coach shortlist with former Hull KR boss Tony Smith the favourite
No quick fix can cure Hull FC with widespread overhaul needed after Brett Hodgson exit
Hull FC set for quick coaching appointment as Adam Pearson provides update