He said, “My main focus for pre-season has been on hard work and I have been really impressed with the attitude from everyone in the squad. The new signings have fitted in really well but the existing players have all stepped it up in training too.
“The coaching staff have been challenging the boys and they have been excited to accept those challenges both physically and mentally. We just want to start playing now and have an opportunity to put our new structures in to practice.”
He added, “Hull is the perfect side to face in our first friendly. They have already said they are aiming for silverware in 2013 and with one of the best back rowers in the game in Gareth Ellis, they will offer a real test for us to evaluate where we are at.
“For me this first game is about us being consistent and competitive for the full 80 minutes. Individual players each have their own goals but it is ultimately about
giving a good team performance.”
The match will celebrate Kirk Yeaman’s testimonial but the Hull FC stalwart admits it’s the match not the occasion he’s most looking forward to.
He said, “I think it’s a bit of a fresh start for both sides. We’ll have players like Gareth Ellis and Daniel Holdsworth playing for the first time plus a former Cas
player in Joe Arundel, while Cas have some new recruits themselves.
“Jake Webster is a player I know well from the derby matches and Jamie Ellis is a former team mate too, so we know what they’ll bring to the side.
“I have a lot of time for Castleford and their fans and I’ve always enjoyed playing at the Jungle, as we used to call it!”
Tickets for the match are on sale now from the KC Stadium ticket office as well as on the day of the game and are £12 for adults and £6 for juniors.
The usual away stand, the North Stand, will not be open for the match so away supporters will be sat in the north end of the West Stand in sections W10 and W11.
Kick off is 2pm.
Edited by Honor James, 08 January 2013 - 08:48 AM.