Hull FC 'want to be the best' in Super League 2013, says Peter Gentle
PETER Gentle is pleased to see his “ambitious” Hull FC squad set their sights on being the best in Super League.
Having overhauled the club’s culture, the Hull coach says he and his staff no longer have to set the agenda at training because of the quality new players they’ve signed.
Keen to make sure the winning culture is player driven, Gentle has been delighted with the response of his men in Tenerife.
“There has been a culture change and it is pretty clear to see the strong culture we have here now,” he told the Mail.
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“It is a culture that is driven by the squad and that’s what we’ve been looking for from the players.
“Last season, we nursed the players, but the quality of personnel and the quality of character we now have means they are setting the goals. This is an ambitious squad and we are expecting big things.
“I am not worried about what anyone else thinks we are capable of or what we are going to do, and we won’t be coming out and saying we will win the competition. What we do want to do is be the best, though, and we will strive for that.”
Whilst at their warm-weather training camp in Tenerife, Hull have set their targets for the season.
Gentle is eager to keep those to himself for now, but it is understood the club are determined to break back into the top four – and make a genuine assault on one of the two trophies up for grabs.
A sixth-place finish and a first play-off win in five years was seen as progress last season, but owner Adam Pearson and Gentle are both determined to see the side push on this year.
It’s a determination Gentle believes is shared by his players, especially after the arrival of vastly-experienced professionals like Gareth Ellis, Ben Galea and Daniel Holdsworth.
Those new arrivals will get a first opportunity to make an impact on Sunday when they face Castleford in Kirk Yeaman’s testimonial game.
Liam Watts will miss out with his thumb injury, while Liam Kent and Danny Tickle may not be risked after post-season operations.
But Gentle has confirmed that he intends to play all his fit players as a reward for their efforts in pre-season.
He added: “I am going into the Castleford game with no preconceived ideas and I’ve got 32 players in my squad.
“Everyone who is fit, which will be most of them, will play.
“I won’t be resting anyone for this game and everyone will get their chance because they’ve earned it.
“There will be an opportunity for everyone, nobody has a line ruled through their name, the chance is there to make an impression.”