The Dentist’s Diary – 498th

Every 12 months or so I have a health check mainly centred around how my heart is doing, however this year I won’t be bothering……… because I’m convinced there’s nothing at all wrong with it!!!

If there was, the old ticker would have packed up during the last few games, because once again yesterday’s match was a real ‘nail biter’, our fifth victory by 2 or less points and it was once again blooming hard work watching, I can tell you!!

However on a serious note the issue is of course that despite winning that performance just isn’t good enough if we want to finish top 4, because like it or not we are getting progressively worse, not better and teams will start to find us out. In that last desperate 20 minutes yesterday, lacking the leadership of Ellis, Manu, Talanoa and Mini, with ball in hand the rest of ‘em had brain fart after brain fart. In the end it was sheer bloody mindedness, some amazing tenacity in defence close to our line and perhaps the steadying hand of Pryce that kept them out and JUST got us home with another two precious points.

Castleford will feel badly done by, but tough!!! We have been there so many times before and few had any sympathy for us!! And of course in the end as my pal Tommy always says, goal kicks win you matches! Despite us playing pretty crap at times the way we have stacked points up of late is quite amazing, but the desperation and wanting is there and of course as I said last week, winning does become a habit!! So, in the end, we made it 14 wins in our last 15 matches in all competitions.

However if you weren’t there, then believe me, we made bloody hard work of it and for that winning habit to continue next week against the Dragons, we will need to be ten times better with ball in hand!!

I had already worked out before the game that with 8 points on Saints before we even played and a point’s difference of around 130 in our favour, top 4 before the split was all but ours without another win. That brings with it 4 home games in the last 7 the securing of which had to be our first goal for the 2016 season. So now its job done!

The journey to Castleford harked back to the good old days when we went in convoy to every game. Cars and coaches emblazed with scarves and flags were everywhere and with getting on for 5000 FC fans in a gate just 600 short of capacity the atmosphere at Wheldon Road was superb. The chips were great as always and with two teams that both had players missing the stage was set for a mighty tussle. The FC fans really got behind the boys and in a game where we were outmuscled in the first quarter, won easily the second, held our own in the third and almost succeeded in pushing the self destruct button in the fourth, in a tense old affair we certainly out-sung the home crowd.

‘Should Radford rotate the squad for Castleford’ read the thread title on RL fans last week and it appears that he gambled on just that and got away with it by the skin of his teeth. You have to credit him for his bravado and also praise the tenacity of those who came in, for Naughton, Thompson, Handley and Green all performed well out there as we succeed in the end, in getting one over a feisty and pumped Cas outfit running on desire, pride and the occasion!

However when you look back in the cold light of Monday morning it was our togetherness and never say die attitude that got us home, although with two ridiculous forced passes that went to ground in our own 20 on the first tackle, a 40/20 attempt that went straight out and two dropped balls in our half, all in the last 15 minutes, you can see that we did it ugly, but again we got the points and if we lose the next two league games it will still be round 21, before anyone can depose us from the top of the pile. In fact if we can win the next two or three games we could find ourselves just about guaranteed a play-off game before we even start the Super Eights, so volatile are the standings beneath us at present. Now there’s something to aim for!!!!

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Great game by Danny!

But as I say, boy was it hard work to watch and in the end I look back on it and realise that some big plays from some real heroes got us home just as much as those brain farts almost didn’t. There were some great moments as the Castleford defence had no answer to Fornua near the line in the first half, Pryce’s dropped shoulder and pass to Shaul was magnificent and Frank’s second try for the Club was a joy to behold as he scattered the defence like skittles, to crash over under the posts.

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Great try!

In fact Pritchard with 153 meters was a big player all afternoon for us but those instances of class and some none stop defence apart, it was a real grind and one that we increasingly looked like losing through our own mistakes at least 4 times in the last ten minutes. The deciding point could so easily have been that missed 50 yard penalty, which, as we backed our ability to hold the line, would have given us a pretty good 8 point cushion had it gone over, but it didn’t, which left us all wondering if a set of six on their line would have been better as far as taking the wind out of their sails was concerned. On such fine margins are games won and lost!

Again though at the end of both half’s the opposition looked out on their feet as we battered them down the middle. However that said we did look pretty slow and ponderous in patches ourselves which is not the norm for this FC team at all. Had they had two ‘proper’ half backs they could have won, but had we had our missing players in the team I believe we would have managed the game much better and won pretty easily ourselves, so it’s all as broad as it’s long really. In the end the record again shows two points to the FC, it was a lucky and perhaps very fortuitous two points, but two points just the same.

Super League XXI Castleford v Hull FC Sunday 19 June -

Frank did well!!

When I look back at the game Leon Pryce had a real point to prove and did it in emphatic style, coming on in the second half when it was 18-18 he created a great try whilst also pulling off a couple of real try scoring tackles in that frenetic last ten minutes! He returned from congratulating Jamie Shaul for the try he had scored and Leon had made and could clearly be seen waving at the coach’s box in the stand to point out to Radford what he can do! It was all in good spirit and even when the chips were down near the end, he was still laughing and encouraging his team mates and his steadying persona in that situation really impressed me.

For me the game star was I guess Mark Sneyd who made three tries converted all four we scored and just missed with that 50 yard penalty and a drop goal that to many at the other end looked to have gone over. That penalty miss was the first conversion or penalty, he has ‘blow’ for the last 4 games!! He’s a great player! Scott Taylor carried for over 100 yards again and was again an absolute tower of strength in the front row. However it was times like when with 5 minutes to go Stevie Michaels dislodged the ball three yards from our line and went off on a mazy run to the 30 meter line only to try the most impossible pass which went to ground, that could have done for us. Head and feed to Castleford and more pressure! If there was a match winner then it was probably Danny Tickle who missed with two conversions and dropped a great cross field kick in the last minute as the home sides final chance evaporated. The latter mistake was appropriately accompanied by an ironic chorus of ‘Danny Tickle, he’s one of our own!”

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Fonua was a real handful all afternoon.

All in all it was another victory and little else and I’m really finding it hard to ‘survive’ these games at all, so tense are they all turning out to be. In the last ten minutes you could taste the tension and indeed the fear in the crowd as everyone shuffled and fretted and watch the clock wind down, more and more slowly. Walking back up the ‘lane’ afterwards there were a lot of long Castleford faces, but we’ve been there and let’s face it the Jungle has hardly been a happy hunting ground for us of late has it? For so long we were the Club that couldn’t find a way to win these close games, while these days we can’t find a way to lose them!! Try though we do!

It was a good showing from the forwards and Houghton again played a massive part in the proceedings. Making 51 tackles and scoring a try he ran tirelessly from acting half and constantly caused them problems from the quick play the ball, when the referee allowed it. I thought the official was poor for both sides, in what was already a stop start game, due to the mistakes both sides made.

The fans were simply superb backing the team and afterwards so many attended that the car park at the rear of the East Stand was still chocker block an hour later as FC fans danced in the rain singing “We are top of the League, I say we are top of the League” In the end at this point in the season it’s still a case of winning and not being too bothered about how we do it!! We won, it’s two more points and we move on!

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An almost capacity gate and thousands from Hull packed into the old Stadium!

So to this week and the addition of young Jack Connor to the ranks of the FC came once again completely ‘out of the blue’. Later in the Diary I’ll be having a look at our recruitment policy for the forthcoming 2017 season and what we can expect next; however it seems that in Connor we have grabbed another extremely talented youngster who was only a few weeks ago being tipped in the Huddersfield Daily Examiner as a future England player.

We were told there was no more money for signings so many fans will now no doubt presume, like me, that something has gone seriously awry with the plans to re-sign Yeamo and Stevie Michaels. However with youth on his side Jack is seen as a bit of a maverick, a good tackler and very adaptable across the backs, but any Huddersfield fan will tell you that in their opinion he’ll make a good half back. Again, he is a great addition and when he became available I think it surprised the Club. It’s good business and a sign of our standing in the game that although Huddersfield tried really hard to retain him, Jack decided his best chance of progressing was at the KCom Stadium.

Now, it’s easy I guess to join in the current ‘in vogue’ trend amongst FC fans and compare Hull FC to the Bradford Bulls team in which Lee Radford starred in the early part of this century. If Lee did decide that it was time for a return to that type of team it has certainly been an inspired decision. Although it wasn’t pretty, the way the Bulls played back then was effective! On the down side it spawned the much maligned ‘Bull-mania’ but it also generated massive gates and although derided by the rest of us who simply couldn’t compete, it brought a deal of success to the Odsal Club as well!

So was there a master plan with regard to this team at Hull FC? Well I think there was myself, although to see it through was a risk, because if it had been outlined by Lee as the way forward when he first took over, it would have been classed by many as outdated? Lee said this week that it was all down to a core of players with the right attitude rather than the right size, but our success thus far has been based on our strength and size too.

Fetuli Talanoa and Mahe Fornua are examples of point and our new centre signing Josh Griffin isn’t exactly small, while looking back, the signing of Pryce by Radford was obviously a building block in the process, employing as it did, a player that actually took part in the Bulls resurgence with our coach. So I guess we should all expect Naughton will be sent for a course of meat pie infusion before long!!!! However joking apart Talanoa has been a key cog in the team, playing as (what coach Lee Radford has described to be) a ‘front-row winger’; which is a typical ‘Bulls’ move.

Talanoa started the last ten games, before being rested at the weekend and is now a marked man for all the Clubs that we play. Fetuli is the club’s third top metre maker this year and despite missing four games and not being a forward he was third in the ‘carries made’ chart too, before this weekend. Like everyone else in this family of ours at present he’s loving playing for us and insists he enjoys the physicality of Rugby League as well as the glory of scoring tries. He said this week, “That kind of work comes naturally to me. Physicality is important and I love that part of the game. Getting in there and mixing it with the big boys is great and diving over for tries is fun as well.”

That, I think, just about sums up the success and passion of a guy who was emptying dustbins when we signed him and what an inspired addition and a great bit of vision from Radford his capture has proved to be and I think that he is in the mould of players that we will be signing in future, as our back line will mirror our forwards in what is quickly becoming a team akin to Bradford’s old ‘Land of the Giants’.

Well Motu Tony’s been pretty high profile in the last week hasn’t he? He’s not often in the limelight, but has taken a more high profile position of late. However, whilst on the subject of profile the ‘Invisible Man’ mantle at Hull FC these days is still without doubt held by our owner, who has been incredibly quiet, in the last few months. He could afford and would be allowed I feel a little gloat or two as well, after what he took from some fans at the end of last season, but perhaps his interests elsewhere in local sport have seen him less active in the media! We’ll see!

You’ll remember Motu was playing down any new signings just the morning before Griffin was announced and now he was at it again, as then low and behold out of the blue we announce the signing of Jack Connor. I’m told that players still out of contract are finding it harder and harder to get decent offers so we are certainly now up to our cap allowance for next season.

We have chased a high profile half back for weeks and got the deal very close, but we missed out on him and went for Griffin and Connor instead, so we now appear to be putting our half back ‘eggs’ in the Carlos ‘basket’, which could leave us a bit thin in the half’s. Although many Huddersfield fans feel it is Connor’s best position too. However, the point Motu made in the Mail on Thursday about Mahe, Carlos, Marc and Jamie, who are all 25 or under, being the players we will build our future back division around, is a good one, but six and seven are such important positions and if Carlos or Sneydy are out for any length of time I feel that we’ll look to be struggling a bit there. All the best three quarters in the world are ineffective if they don’t get the right ball.

Still, we’ll see I guess, although I don’t see us bringing anyone else in at present although that doesn’t mean, if the plan is as above, that we shouldn’t be looking to extend Sneyd’s deal to ensure he isn’t temped away as his contract winds down next season.

The fact that Hull FC are to adopt the popular White Star shirt from the Magic Weekend as their away shirt for the Super 8’s, came as a disappointment for me! With positive feedback from supporters and members who voted for the design, the unique playing jersey will be worn by the first-team as an alternative strip, when the competition splits in August. I was saddened however because I was hoping that it would be tweaked and then adopted as the genuine away shirt next year, so iconic is a design that is a conglomerate of retro Club strips and school children’s designs. The Club has re-ordered a batch of the shirt having realised what a lot of us have thought for ages; that it would be hugely popular! Funnily enough when FC Voices suggested a White star design as our away shirt for the 2015 celebrations, it was poo pooed by the Club, who cited the fact that the RL would not acknowledge it or allow it to be used. All I can say is that there must have been a big change of heart! It is however a great shirt and will see us OK in the battles to come.

It’s been a week of taking stock in the media with regard to how far we have come thus far this season and on Tuesday Johnny Whitely was wheeled out to have his say on how we are doing and he should know!! Johnny is without doubt a good bell-weather on how we are going as he spends at least 3 days a week down at County Road and has been around the training camp for years. I know him really well and on several occasions he has said to me, even before seasons have started, that he was worried about our attitude or, stated such gems as “They don’t look fit to me” or “I can’t see where some of them are coming from at times” Of course at the dawn of any new campaign I never wanted to believe him, but invariably I have to say that in the end I looked back at what he had said and thought that he was right.

However, this week Johnny said on Tuesday in the Mail, “The team spirit is as good as I’ve seen it for many years right throughout the staff. I’ve shaken my head at times when seeing so many variants within the club. This year I’ve had a smile on my face. You can attribute that to the coaching staff for generating it. We compliment the players, but the backroom staff has been superb. Radders has done a wonderful job. I know a few people were hunting for him but you’ve got to give people a chance. I’ve been a coach so I know how hard it is.”

I have banged on in here that the team spirit this time around is second to none and indeed how it has, as yesterday and on at least 6 other occasions this season, been the single element that has got us home. Johnny wouldn’t have made his comments and indeed compared this team to the one he captained to a golden era from 1956 had he had any scruples at all, because he really does love the Club and although many laughed, believe me if he said that our plight in the last few years had made him lose sleep, then he has really been concerned. At 85 John has seen it all and is certainly not one for being in the Clubs pocket, so it was good to read that he has changed his mind a lot this year and to hear his feelings on the current situation at the Club.

I haven’t had a rant for a while but I’m afraid ones on its way right now, because last Tuesday Mrs R realised a life-long ambition, when I accompanied her to see her hero Rod Stewart play to a packed Kcom stadium. It was certainly an exciting and atmospheric evening and I’m pleased to report that Rod performed well and included some of his great early music, such as Oh La La, Stay with Me, You Wear it Well, Angel, I’d Rather Go Blind and of course Maggie May. That was the stuff he was playing in the 70’s when I last saw him perform in the Faces in Sheffield; what a hell raising live band they were back then!! However at 71 he’s a bit more staid now, but it was a smashing night at the KC and one that got me thinking a bit too.

The whole evening was superbly staged from the moment you encountered a massive food and drink ‘village’ on the perimeter road to the final amazing fireworks display and in between we experienced 25 of ‘Mr Stewarts’ greatest hits and some wonderful musicianship. Everyone had a great time and it was so good to see young and old, sports fans and none sports fans, richer and poorer, all there enjoying the opportunity to see something that simply would not have been possible without the facility that is the Kcoms Stadium.

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‘The Peoples Palace’

That’s of course what the whole bloody idea was in the first place and when Pat Doyle and the Hull City Council decided to invest some of the money the public had made through the sale of their Kingston Communications shares, it was to provide not just a home for the City’s two senior sports Clubs, but also a centre of excellence and focal point for the Community. It was all about using the facility as a catalyst to improve the quality of life of the City and its people.

That’s how it all started too when it opened, but subsequent owners of the football club have eroded the control and stewardship away from the local authority who built the place and indeed from the citizens of Hull who own it. For their part the politicians have certainly not been vigilant either, well they haven’t as far as ensuring that they protect this public facility which in the first place, they decided to invest in. In fact it appears in an effort to abdicate any maintenance responsibilities they signed away any rights the people of Hull and district had with regard to the place. I doubt very much myself that the various government watchdogs charged with protecting the public’s interests and their money, would have agreed to the place being built at all had they known that things would have turned out as they have.

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Really impressive!

From being a shiny new public icon in the heart of the City, the KCom has slowly but surely been degraded and run down as we have seen firstly, community groups priced out of the place altogether, then more groups ejected from the Airco Arena for it to be swathed in artificial grass and now shut most of the time as all the while the infrastructure around the Stadium shows signs of fatigue and the amenity and public areas within the place look worn and ‘tired’.

In addition to that the only remaining real regular customers, the fans of the two Clubs, have lost all confidence and any respect they ever had in the first place, for the current owners of Hull City and the SMC. It is clear to many people I speak to, be they City Fans, FC fans or just plain Joe Public, that everyone is sick of it all now and the best outcome for all concerned is for there to be a parting of the ways between the owners of Hull City and the SMC and their customers and that the Council ‘Grow some’ with regard to their obligations concerning such an iconic public asset. Hull City are on the crest of a wave but are none the less being torn to pieces when they should be celebrating, while their sales speculation continues to grow. However I bet the current owners quite like the idea of being Premier League chairman too, so expect anything in the next few weeks, however for me its fingers firmly crossed, on it being time for a change.

Whether you like Rod Stewart or not, nights like Tuesday just serve to remind us all of what could have been and vindicate completely the dreams and vision of Doyle and his Council at the turn of the century. Don’t get me wrong the SMC did a brilliant job of managing all those people and ensuring everyone had a great evening, with a new Chief Executive they are without doubt on the up and indeed helping us as a club again. However the philosophy at the top seems to me to be so against the very principle on which the Stadium was built in the first place and that’s the crying shame. For many years now we have all watched as a slow, grinding incremental and yet unrelenting process has seen many fans, members of the public and indeed community and sporting groups alienated. Community activities are not viable anymore, whilst top level Rock Concerts are not financially sustainable either ….apparently!

This whole process has without doubt led to a breakdown in confidence between the fans, the public and the management that is now irretrievable.

In our big year of culture we should be seeing three or four more concerts at the Stadium and the City of Culture people should feel confident in trawling the touring schedules for 2017 to attract the world’s biggest acts to our City and the KC. With all the worthy and arty stuff, it is still by such keystone events that the Festival will be marked out as significant when viewed by people across the rest of the country and indeed how it will be remembered locally. This time it took an individual Rod Stewart fan, David Kilburn, to cut through all the issues to get the show on and to instigate what was without doubt a great night for the region and a great experience for its people.

I just wish we could see the Kcoms Stadium returned to its role as the people’s Palace as it was originally intended to be, sadly me thinks the only way that will happen is with change at the top, but as I say, with Premiership football with all its financial trappings back in town, “Don’t hold your breath”

Well is the new found form and wanting we have seen thus far this season encouraging lapsed and new fans to come forward. Well I did wonder a bit myself when I saw the Widnes gate! However as fans go there are few as committed as Tony Roberts. He has as I have said before run coaches to just about every FC game since the early 70’s and he’s a long standing fan and pal. Through good times and bad he has continued and on occasions when times were very hard he’s had to subsidise vacant seats himself but he has still gone about his business quietly and without fuss whilst out living several other more high profile ‘coaches to games’ operations. Another ‘Child of Airlie Street’ he reads this rubbish every week and keeps in touch too, however any E mail from Tony usually consists of some comments about the Diary and a plea to advertise any empty seats he has on his Coach. I always oblige because I know just how much he puts into it, however, when I received an E mail this week it wasn’t the ‘same old’ and in fact it was a pleasure to read what he had to say, when he commented;

‘For the trip this week-end to Castleford we have had to book a double decker coach which seats a whopping 76 passengers. Also the really positive thing is it was filled up by Monday evening. The last time we were anywhere near this level of away support for a league fixture was going to a game at Widnes over 32 years ago*. We can only imagine, if/when we start winning trophies, how the fans will flock back

(* I suspect that was the Cup replay over Widnes 13.3.84)

How great is that for Tony and indeed for the Club and fans; well done mate!

In Codgers Corner this week I thought that I would have a look at a trip I made to Cardiff, it was to watch Hull FC play but wasn’t for that very special game in 2005. This was back in that 83/84 season, a year when we actually didn’t get to Wembley, a rare occasion in itself back then. We were actually knocked out of the competition by St Helens at Knowsley Road in late February. However before that, we were drawn in the first round against the then Second Division outfit Cardiff City, who played at Ninian Park.

After that really disappointing defeat by Featherstone the previous year in the Cup Final, we were intent on making sure we saw every round of the competition, in the hope of cheering the lads back to the twin tower of the national stadium again, so it was that we set off at 6-30 that Sunday Morning, 12th February 1984, in my old lime green Opal Ascona to make the trip to South Wales. We got to the Welsh Capital at around 1-00pm and had lunch in a pub in Andrews Arcade before making our way to the home of Cardiff City who had decided to experiment with Rugby League and had attracted quite a few converts from the Union ranks to play for them. (David Howes once likened football clubs that start RL teams to pub landlords that get brand new juke boxes. Whilst folks are sticking money into them they love it but once the punters get fed up with it they send it back and the Cardiff City ‘experiment’ was pretty much to turn out like that!)

When we got in the ground it was apparent that Rugby League was not appealing much to the natives of South Wales (nothing new there then) and of the 3,187 in attendance about 2000 had made the 300 mile trip from Hull. We were in fact ‘the elite’ of the game back then and our squad had actually flown down to South Wales that same morning.

The match kicked off on a cloudy damp afternoon on a pitch that was obviously not holding up too well to both Football and RL being played on it. The home side started brightly as one wag near me shouted out to the Hull forwards that perhaps they were suffering from jet lag!! Steve Fenwick the ex Wales RU international was first stopped on the 25, and then after about 5 minutes bundled into touch by Kemble as he dived to score in the corner.

Then the Welsh forwards led by Union converts Ringer and David drove the ball down the field and after both Keith Tindall and Phil Edmonds had been pulled up for high tackles Cardiff’s Hallett kicked a couple of penalties. Crooks returned the compliment with two points for us after a fracas involving Davies and Flearey, which left Garry Schofield out cold on the floor, but then the Cardiff number six converted a third penalty and after just 16 minutes the score was already 6-2 to the hosts. Perhaps we were jet lagged?? It took us 26 minutes before we got anymore points, however it was a great try when it came. Shaun Patrick made the initial break by handing off scrum half Gwillum (no not that one) and shooting away from acting half back, he arced right before slipping an inside ball to Divorty who drew their cover and then sent Garry Schofield charging in at top speed to score his 21st try of the season.

At 6-6 we were running hot and Cardiff had hardly had time to recover before Edmonds burst through their line, turned in the tackle and slipped a perfect pass for Dave Topliss to canter in under the posts and for Crooks to add the goal. From the kick off Edmonds again came charging through off a short ball from scrum half Fred Ah Kuoi and this time he found Andy Dannett and although the second rower had Steve Evans open outside him he turned the ball back inside for Kemble to score another slick touch-down. Although Crooks failed with the conversion, at half time we went in leading 16-6.

The anticipated points fest did not materialise though as we came out and seemed content to keep the hosts pinned in their own half although we were unlucky not to score when after 53 minutes Patrick Solal (a substitute for Dane O’Hara who had retired with a cut head), hared down the wing to touch down but had stepped in touch. We lacked possession, but tackled like demons, and as the Cardiff attack became more and more frustrated their own tackling got higher and higher, and we sustained a couple of badly cut heads. Lee Crooks who carried a leg injury into the game got one, and then Gary Divorty had to go off to get a couple of stitches over his eye.

At last we got a bit more possession and as we got a play the ball in their twenty five, hooker Shaun Patrick stepped out of acting half and in under the posts for Crooks to goal. With a minute to go Knocker Norton who had actually had a quiet game laid on a superb pass for Kemble to get his second, but only after referee Fred Lindop had taken an age to consider the grounding. Finally with two minutes of added time already gone Schofield shot in on a short ball from Leuluai and as Crooks had by now left the field limping, Schoey tagged on the two points himself. By this time, of course, there was hardly a Welshman left in the ground and as there was no time to restart the game, the final whistle went and the makeshift score board on the terracing at the north end of the ground showed Cardiff City 6 Hull FC 34, and we were through to the next round.

The journey home took six hours and it was well past midnight when we got back, by which time no doubt the team who had flown back were no doubt ‘locked in’ some pub in the City. We had won easily, but my lasting memory had to be the disinterest and apathy that there was from the Welsh people towards Rugby league back then, and as far as the current South Wales outfit is concerned it would seem that nothing has changes really.

Now by this part of the Diary I know that many of you, if you have actually got this far, completely glaze over and no doubt can’t wait to get it over with but please just note so you’re not left wondering, that there will NOT be a Diary for the next two weeks. Producing this every week through both the actual and closed seasons, means that it is a constant process and for the last few years I have given myself the middle of the year, the last week in June and the first week in July, off to recharge my batteries a bit.

This season being so exciting made me wonder if I should continue with this tradition but it’s all been getting a bit stale really and I need to think about the whole thing and indeed the Diaries future direction, so I decided to continue with that plan.

So, don’t be wondering where the Diary is next week but rest assured that the 499th edition will be back with you on Monday 10th July. In the mean time I’ll be having a day or two away, fitted round not missing the Catalan and Huddersfield fixtures and with Lee Radford saying, “It’s a sport where everything can change very quickly and Hull is a city where if you lose three games and start to struggle, they will be asking for your P45” who knows where we (or Lee) will be when the Diary returns.

Yesterday was tough but before we get all doom and gloomy take heart from the fact that there is a distinct pattern to this season thus far. Teams like Warrington, Wigan, Saints and Catalan have won a few on the trot and then faded for a while lost a few before coming back with wins again, we on the other hand have faded but somehow we manage to keep winning. Surely that must stand us in good stead?

However next week’s Cup match is massive and it seems to be capturing imagination of the fans as well. As I said last week the League is an incremental accumulative thing, while the Cup is simply sudden death and the fact that Catalan rested several players last week for this game, just shows how important it is to the Frenchmen too. They will be rubbing their hands in ‘Gaelic glee’ when they watch the footage from Cas on Sunday, but we rested our share of players too, so the stage is set for a monumental tussle that is certainly a mouth watering proposition.

Get a ticket, get down there and let’s cheer the lads onto a victory, which will see us just 80 minutes away from Wembley!! Yes, this week that’s how massive it is and although a tough proposition, we can do it and it’s up to us lot to tip up in numbers and cheer the boys on to victory. Thanks for reading the Diary and for all your support. I’ll see you at the KC or at the very least back in here on Monday 10th July!! Enjoy the ride and…………

COMEONYOU HULLLLAAARRRRR!!!!!!!!

Keep Believing

Faithfully Yours

Wilf