The Dentist’s Diary – 714th

“We know the sacrifices our supporters have made and the real impact on them. This year more than any it is important to give them something to cheer and we are confident we can do that. We have built an expensive squad full of quality and we go into the new season confident.”

Some heartening words from Adam Pearson indeed, as I welcome you to this week’s offering with just 4 weeks to go to the start of the 2021 campaign and an interesting pre-season run out at York coming up quickly on the rails. 

It was great to hear from Adam yesterday as, in an exclusive interview with The Mail, he outlined his plans to keep the club going and to reward the fans who have stood by him so strongly and so loyally, by giving us all a more successful season at home. 

In some ways that won’t be difficult, because our home record under Lee Radford and Richard Agar was patchy at best and with the exception of one or two purple patches over the years, it’s a very long time since the days when we went along to the KC just expecting to win! In fact, if we’re honest, most season’s we thought we had more chance of winning an away game  than those we played back home in Hull, didn’t we? 

As you know, I have examined that conundrum a time or two in here over the years, as I’ve tried to analyse the claim that clubs look forward to coming to and playing in what is the best Stadium in the British game. The ambience and the atmosphere of the place seems to raise their game and for most of the time us lot on the terraces have hardly been intimidating have we?  So, I’ve also come to the conclusion that it’s a scenario which is something of a handicap for us from the off, because our visitors often visibly lift their game. I reckon too that we have to go back to the heady days when Shaun McCrae was running things, before we find a time when we honestly never ever doubted our team’s ability on home turf and were bitterly disappointed for a week afterwards, when we lost! 

As they prepare to take on that challenge and the gauntlet thrown down by Adam, the players are itching to get a game under their belts and so the York match can’t come soon enough. All that, whilst us fans just try to stay safe and long for a return to the KC to watch a match again, although even that’s likely to be delayed somewhat now. Still, everyone, from the players, to the Coach and the owner are positive, but then again why wouldn’t they be, as we haven’t dropped a ball in anger yet! It’s going to be a tough season and no mistake but that’s for another day and so now back to this week, when I hope below you find something to interest you.    

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The Dentist’s Diary – 713th

Welcome again to another edition of the Diary as the new season creeps even closer. It’s once again been a quiet week (its Groundhog Day in here again isn’t it?) but at least we got the squad numbers released and an indication as to who we are playing in the second round of the competition. Those team numbers actually put a lot of things in perspective and offers us the opportunity to assess the strength and indeed depth of our squad this year, which is something I’ll look at later on in here. However, much in the game, is still up in the air, including what we do about the Elstone situation and how relegation will work if as is expected we bring in a points percentage system to cover for when Clubs can’t, for one reason or another, play games. 

At our club it’s still all quiet, but it was good to hear from Adam in the Yorkshire Post midweek when he described his battle with Covid and the after effects he’d experienced. Thank goodness he’s OK! Our noisy neighbours announce this week that they had 4,500 signed up season ticket holders and it would be nice, I think, to hear how many we have got but for one reason or another it’s pretty silent on that front. 

As for other developments, well, our first two fixtures are now confirmed and as such both look winnable, but at the same time big challenges against two teams with greatly changed squads who both have new coaches, making their first steps with their new clubs. So, we have to be ready, because everyone will want a good start this season, as with the debt that will be ‘hanging round the necks’ of all 12 teams by the end of the year, no one will want to be in a scrap down near the bottom or indeed, heaven forbid, be relegated! 

I watched the Aussie All Stars game on Saturday on Sky and a fast a furious encounter really got the juices flowing for the new season and I consoled myself afterwards with the fact that at least the FC will soon be playing again.

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The Dentist’s Diary – 712th

Another week goes by and I’ve had a go at another Diary as the League season draws closer and by next weekend when the full fixture list comes out, we will be just 5 weeks away from at least seeing some action again. The first-round fixtures are out and we get our first hit up against Huddersfield in a game in which both sets of fans will be looking to assess the effect of a new Coach.  

After another quiet few days, we have at least learned that the reign of our first Super League Chief Executive is over and although, as I’ll discuss later, there were issues on both sides of the argument, the decision signifies more in-fighting and dirty washing being aired in public, which doesn’t really show our great sport in a very good light at all does it?.

 Once more British Rugby League looks in disarray and the sooner we get playing again and put ‘back office politics’, back where they belong the better.

It comes at a time that can best be described as being one of ‘Choppy waters’ for the game, with no sign of crowds returning, TV negotiations going slowly (and if you believe the media badly), uncertainty about the fixtures and the Magic event and the start of any sort of action on the field still a month and a half away. Many armchair pundits are now left to ponder what is worse between the current situation with Super League Europe haemorrhaging money through debts to merchant bankers and top-heavy administration costs and going back in with the RFL, whose past record of running the game stands for itself! Talk about the devil and the deep blue sea eh? Perhaps we have to look for some middle ground, but more about that later. 

Still hope springs eternal and I’m really starting to look forward to seeing how our lads do out there on the field again under new management, and it will be so good to simply get away from the politics and back to playing rugby again.  

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The Dentist’s Diary – 711th

It’s been another funny old week, but things have looked up a bit for yours truly and all being well I should be having my jab tonight (Saturday) at Beverley Racecourse which has already made me feel a bit better about things in general. 

At the FC pre-season continues with a new loan signing and with Josh Reynolds continuing to be the darling of the media, whilst once again I’ve scraped around and found one or two bits of stuff to talk about. 

Later in here I celebrate the fact that we have at last got together with the NRL and discussed rule alignment between the two competitions. Some of the changes that we’ve made are a bit baffling and one strikes me as being pretty unnecessary, but thank goodness we have at last gone some way towards gaining some parity across the sport, which  hopefully in the end will see us all playing to the same rule book in both our domestic and international competitions. We ain’t there yet, but at least it’s a big improvement, which immediately makes our game so much more understandable for the uninitiated and more credible as a World sport. 

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