Stadium: The KCOM Stadium
Coach: Lee Radford
Last season’s finish: 8th
Frustration was the theme for the Airlie Birds in 2018 as injuries plagued a disappointing season that saw Hull FC finish at the bottom of the Super 8’s.
Having missed out on a place at Old Trafford in the semi-finals the previous season, supporters from the West side of Hull would have been hoping that this could be the year they finally went that extra step, but bar a couple of Hull Derby wins, there wasn’t a huge amount to shout about.
Despite some calls for a change in leadership, FC have stuck with Lee Radford and, bar the departure of a few squad players, he seems to be keeping faith with the bulk of his first team, with Matty Dawson-Jones (Leigh) (9/1 – Top Hull FC Tryscorer) and Levy Nzoungou (Salford) the headline new additions.
Radford has also bought in Jordan Thompson from Leeds, and is set to give a Super League chance to former Oldham forward Danny Langtree, following an impressive season with Oldham in the Betfred League One.
Even with the shortcomings last term, FC fans will be hoping that they can be back challenging at the right end of the Betfred Super League table, providing they can keep their squad fit throughout.
In Albert Kelly and Marc Sneyd, FC have one of the most well balanced Halfback pairings in the league. The flair of Kelly is matched perfectly by the game management and kicking game of Sneyd, and if this pairing can find form together again in 2019, The Airlie Birds should have no problem finding the try line.
One of the highlights of 2018 for Hull was the performances of Jake Connor, who confirmed his status as one of Super League’s brightest talents, playing across the backline, and Radford will be hoping that the England international can once again prove his worth at the KCOM Stadium.
Given the way last season unfolded, Radford could be on as much of as hearts and minds mission this time around as much as the hunt for silverware. Whether or not they can keep pace with the other clubs hunting honours remains to be seen.
What do the experts think?
Paul Sculthorpe: “Even without any major signings, it will be a new look FC side after a horrendous 2018 injury list. With halves Mark Sneyd and Albert Kelly firing again, they have all the ability to compete. Consistency the question as always?”
Star man? Jake Connor
Predicted finish? 5th
Jamie Peacock: “No new major signings as promised and will need to reverse their terrible form from the end of last year.”
Predicted finish? 10th
The 2019 Betfred Super League kicks off in: