The Dentist’s Diary – 518th

xmasdiary2016
Well, Christmas is coming and so too thankfully is some live rugby!!!

Welcome to another closed season Diary after what has again been a fortnight of interesting developments at our Club and in the wider Rugby League. There is certainly no lack of support for the Clubs retail and ticketing efforts and the response to the new shirts and the season ticket scheme has been nothing short of phenomenal. Although much of the enthusiasm can be put down to the ‘Wembley effect’, in the end the supporters have come good again and everything augers well for a great season with some big gates at the KCOM Stadium in the offing for 2017.

Adam and Co may lament the loss of the Derby games but personally, as it’s not my pocket that the Dobbins relegation is hitting, I find their absence quite refreshing. As fans we have over the last few years simply just had too many of them and after the annual tradition of the two clubs wringing every ounce of cash out of the cross City rivalry, the resurgence in interest in our club (as proved by ticket and shirt sales) displays for me that Derby games are not ‘the end all and be all’ of rugby in Hull.

I just hope that now our administration will adapt to the lack of games against the Dobbins and make a lot more of the home games against Leeds and Wigan etc. turning them into real occasions once more. They used to be you know and if we can get that focus back, I can honestly see gates of 12,000 being a regular feature again at the KCOM in 2017.

Continue reading The Dentist’s Diary – 518th

The Dentist’s Diary – 517th

Well, here we are again, it’s been quite a busy two weeks really and thanks for returning again to the Diary, as I attempt to make some sense of what’s happening at the Club as we all start to get a bit twitchy awaiting some rugby coming our way in five weeks’ time, on Boxing Day.

This last fortnight there’s been plenty going on with Kelly arriving, Frank ‘tanking’ it back to the NRL, Abbo going out on loan to help ‘the basement boy’s’, rumours of a possible departure on the management side of things, the Wolf Pack coming to town and our progress, or otherwise, with season ticket sales. So here’s a quick look at what has come to pass in the last fortnight through, as usual, the eyes of this ordinary fan.

Continue reading The Dentist’s Diary – 517th

The Dentist’s Diary – 516th

So…… while it was quiet I decided to take a bit of a sabbatical and run these Diaries every two week, but just as I try to have a break and do a bit of writing, lo and behold everything kicks off!

Despite the fact that Adam has been away and Lee Radford only returned from holiday last Friday, news has still been coming thick and fast and when no one has been around to confirm or deny it, the media and the fans have just been making it up!

Season ticket sales, Albert Kelly, Frank Pritchard, Jordan Abdull, International games at the KC, a new exciting and yet pretty controversial strip, a great traditional shirt etc. etc. etc. and so it just went on and on. As for me, well, I’m still enjoying the break, but finding it hard to get too excited about this International stuff. I guess I have also to admit that whilst scouring the media for information on the above issues which seem to be occupying the minds of the sports writers and the fans alike, I’m again starting to look forward to next season. Trouble is, no one at the Club is around to comment and with even our Marketing and Communications Director taking a well-deserved break last week the rumour mill has been going wild.

Continue reading The Dentist’s Diary – 516th

The Dentist’s Diary – 515th

THE GREAT RUGBY LEAGUE SWINDLE!!

Whether you sit in the ‘WE don’t need it’ or the ‘Bring it on’ camp is quite rightly a matter of opinion, but the way that the World Club Challenge has been handled is for many I have spoken to this week, just that… a swindle.

I highlight this at the top this week because so many people have talked to me about it since last week’s announcement. Quite rightly the team that won the Grand Final, takes one place, but the other match has been allocated to a Club that lost that game and the Wembley final and won little else than a makeshift trophy that the Rugby League themselves failed to recognise or award until a few seasons ago. In the mean-time the winners of the country’s other Cup competition, which is possibly the most historically relevant trophy in the world, are ignored and that in a week when another concocted and contrived fixture list for the Magic Weekend suddenly appeared.

Only in British Rugby League eh??
Continue reading The Dentist’s Diary – 515th

The Dentist’s Diary – 514

We thought it was all over ……it is now!!!
offseason
No games to watch, no trophies to win and because my Mum always said that you shouldn’t mock the afflicted, no Dobbins to bait either!!

But how are you feeling? Well, there is little doubt that after what was the season that none of us expected or could hardly dare dream of, the roller coaster has ground to a halt a bit. There is certainly little doubt that inertia has become the staple diet for most fans while we await the players returning from a well-earned break on the beach, to start pre-season training on 14th November. Some readers contacted me this week to say that the withdrawal symptoms have kicked in straight after our last game, while personally I guess I feel pretty deflated too. But, although designed specifically for such times, I’m also finding it hard to get enthusiastic about the manufactured nature of our International end of season tournaments and there’s more of that one later.

However, all that said, the City’s only Super League Club still had a few interesting stories to impart this week, as the Player of the Year Awards took place, the details of season tickets for 2016 were released, some speculation about future signings continued, that England squad was announced and the media was stuffed with post season appraisals, reflections on the campaign past and some hopes for 2017.

Nevertheless, all that said it’s still a fact that the closed season seems now to have arrived with a bang!

Continue reading The Dentist’s Diary – 514

The Dentist’s Diary – 512th

That’s it, it’s over, the season has finished and Old Trafford remains nothing but a fading dream, as a hugely successful campaign which has been a brilliant ride, fizzled out just as many of us sort of expected it would.

However, who was prepared for the drama that was to follow and oh boy, it made me smile a bit. That said I have some sympathy for any true fans, the Dobbins players, their families and those employed by the Club, however come on, they are our bitterest rivals and have rejoiced long and hard in the past at our downfalls. They’d be dancing on the terraces were it us lot in that position!! And, as for Josh Griffin, well has there ever been such an FC legend before he even pulled on a shirt?

But enough of the championship newcomers, (for now) let’s concentrate on Friday and that superb second half come-back which followed what was a torrid old first 40 minutes and yet saw us fall short at the end.

Regrets? Well not really, except to say that perhaps I let myself get a bit too carried away with it all after Wembley, but sadly the team’s performances didn’t quite match my optimism and in the end it wasn’t so much a disappointing end to the campaign as a flat one! I’d expected it, of course I had, but sport is a strange thing and I certainly hadn’t in my wildest dreams expected what happened next and I have to admit to having perked up a bit by Saturday tea time.

If I had one misgiving about the year of 2016 then it would be that for me Hull FC produced one of the greatest season’s since the early 80’s, without ever actually performing to our maximum capabilities for a full 80 minutes. In the end, perhaps it was that fact and an inability to reach the intensity that the Leeds, Wigan and Warrington’s of this world know you have to attain at this end of the competition, that I think eventually did for us. We won’t be walking out at Old Trafford on Saturday and so the season ends, but…as the old guy said to me last week, “Don’t worry son, that Challenge Cup is still there in the cupboard!”

Continue reading The Dentist’s Diary – 512th

The Dentist’s Diary – 511th

Out played, out smarted out enthused and alas, for once, out coached as well!

I love Hull FC to bits, I always have and I always will, but sometimes when you’re a fan you have to be honest with yourself and on Friday there was simply no getting away from it; Warrington came to the Kcom played a ‘blinder’ and completely spoiled the party. In here I can only write it as I feel it and it can’t be all happy, clappy all the time and for me in the words of Jackson Browne we appear at the moment to be a team that is ‘Running on Empty’

There can be no excuses because for me last Friday, there were no excuses.

As I walked across West Park before the game deep in thought and perhaps visibly nervous, an old guy walking beside me said, “Don’t look so worried mate whatever happens tonight, when the cupboard is opened tomorrow the Challenge Cup will still be in there!” Sound advice eh? Well maybe, but despite all that and me saying in here time and again how happy I was to have just won the Cup, you want more, you can’t help it and so I was upset at the end and I guess now looking back, I’m bloody mad with myself that I was so disappointed. You know, as a ‘fickle fan’, I have such a short blooming memory!!!

Continue reading The Dentist’s Diary – 511th

The Dentist’s Diary – 510th

AMAZINGLY, QUITE AMAZINGLY, ITS ALL TO PLAY FOR AGAIN!!!!!!!!

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Sport never ceases to amaze does it? Last weekend it looked all over bar the shouting, but now Friday has become the biggest game of the season, after of course ‘The Special One’, and yet conversely it’s DOUBLE TROUBLE if we fail!!! Win and the ‘hub cap’ is ours and we have a home semi- final, but lose and a third place finish beckons with probably an away play-off game at Wigan to follow!! It’s certainly going to be another tense old night for all of us!!!!!!

If it’s the hope that eventually kills you, then it’s your sports team tying you in such knots that, in the meantime, completely buggers you up!!! But wow after what has gone before isn’t it bloody great!

Who’d have thought it eh? This last weekend the drama wasn’t at Wakefield or indeed that much at Warrington, great though the spectacle of that mighty encounter was, but it was rather in the outcome that those two contrasting games threw up for next weekend. Despite one being a sloppy, listless, barely workmanlike affair and the other a great exhibition of grit, determination and stylish rugby, (I’ll leave you to decide which is which) both played their part in setting up a magnificent finale to the regular season. It was all certainly pretty unbelievable when at 10-00pm last Friday the two points we somehow managed to rescue from Thursdays game of mistakes, brain farts and near calamity became so, so significant. It was I think simply written in the stars.

The RL and Sky lads couldn’t have arranged it any better had they wanted to! They’ve got the two top teams in the competition all year creating a rematch of that brilliant Wembley final and bashing it out on the last weekend of regular rugby in the best Stadium in the competition, all to win the League leaders plate. No helicopters flying about with the ‘hub cap’ this time guys, because all the drama will be played out at the KC!!!

SO THIS FRIDAY IS GOING TO BE MASSIVE!!! As the excitement packed 2016 campaign for Hull FC that keeps on giving, just goes on and on and on!

Boy…..what a blooming wonderful season this is!!

Continue reading The Dentist’s Diary – 510th

The Dentist’s Diary – 509th

“Such setbacks are the stepping stones to greater things.”

You can’t win ‘em all and if it’s important that you use the lessons of such games as Fridays to gain knowledge and strength and move forward, then they are certainly not the time for wasting energy despairing at an opportunity lost!

On many occasions this season it’s been us that were sneaking those last minute wins or just seeing games out, but in an outstanding match that we dominated for 60 minutes we ran out of energy, our go forward disappeared and then just as the tide appeared to be turning, a couple of unforced individual errors saw us slip to a disappointing defeat.

This time fortune did not smile on us and yet that tackle in the corner by Fornua near the end deserved to ‘favour the brave’, before a devastated Hadley was robbed of the ball and the inevitable outcome manifest itself in pretty heartbreaking circumstances.

You know I was disappointed at the end and after Wembley I didn’t think I would be saying that again this year, because I simply thought that it wasn’t going to bother me anymore. The Challenge Cup Final was meant to burn bright in my memory and carry me through any tough times that came, as they inevitably would, in its wake! Yet I saw the heartbreak coming at half time as I mused on the amount of chances we had blown in the first quarter. We could well have had 18 points on the board in that period but in the end, despite going along with a post Wembley ‘open mind’, this supporter got a bit too emotionally caught up in a game that was great for the casual viewer but excruciating to watch if you were totally immersed in it. It was that sort of match wasn’t it and you simply couldn’t take your eyes off the action for a moment, however at the end, despite still basking in the afterglow of that final we were all none the less, pretty disappointed.

I guess that just goes to prove how short lived and fleeting are the best ever moments of your life!

Continue reading The Dentist’s Diary – 509th