Peter Gentle: Hull FC 'miles ahead' of last pre-season
HULL FC bring the curtain down today on the first stage of pre-season with coach Peter Gentle proclaiming his side miles ahead of last year.
The Black and Whites will head for their Christmas break this weekend with a ringing endorsement from Gentle, who has spoken of his pride in how the players have handled a training block he describes as the toughest he's seen in his long career in the game.
Hull's coach says he's done his best to break his players in the first two months of pre-season and has been impressed with their resolve.
"We are so far ahead of where we were at this stage last season," Gentle told the Mail.
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"This is a tougher pre-season than I have ever done with any NRL club and we will reap the benefits. The staff have thrown everything at the players and we thought some of them would break, but they've not and I couldn't be prouder of this group for the way they've handled themselves.
"I've seen a lot of body shapes change and the commitment to the cause is unquestionable. Some of the conditioning work we've done has been in atrocious conditions and the players have been bashed up every day.
"They've not missed a beat and we'll head off for Christmas in very good shape, we are exactly where I wanted us to be."
Hull's players return to training on January 2 before heading off a day later to their training base in Tenerife for a week.
Hull then step up their pre-season preparations with their opening friendly against Castleford on January 13.