James Cunningham will make most of new Hull FC deal
JAMES Cunningham has promised to make the most of the security given to him after agreeing a new three-year deal at Hull FC.
The 18-year-old hooker had faced a season of trying to win a new contract with his current deal expiring in 12 months' time.
But, after being handed a two-year extension on an improved deal, the former East Hull player says the security will allow him to focus solely on improving to allow him to become a Super League regular for Hull in the future.
"Having this three-year deal has given me the time and opportunity to learn from the senior players like Danny Houghton," Cunningham told the Mail.
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"All I have to concentrate on now is improving as a player, and it's great for me to have that security so I can develop without worrying about my immediate future.
"When the club offered me the deal I snatched their hand off. I'm excited about the future and I can't wait to get back with the other young lads and compete for a place in the team."
The England Academy player, who this year went to Australia to take on their schoolboys side, made his Super League debut last season in France against Catalan Dragons.
It has been a rapid rise to prominence for a player who has only played hooker for two years since being switched to that position by then Hull under-16s coach Richard Whiting.
Still learning his trade and behind Houghton and Aaron Heremaia at the Black and Whites, Cunningham says he's open to another change of position.
"I'm still learning the hooking role and this time last year I wasn't sure where I was going to play because in pre-season I was playing half-back," he said.
"I don't know where I'll end up, but my only focus right now is on improving as a player."