Chris Chester’s appointment as Wakefield’s new head coach was a blast from the past for Liam Finn.
Finn’s best memories of his new boss were from the sidelines of Thrum Hall and The Shay, where he used to be a ballboy for Halifax Blue Sox in their Super League days.
Chester was part of a successful Fax team from 1996-98, which featured the likes of Karl Harrison, Paul Rowley and current Halifax coach Richard Marshall before joining Wigan in 1999.
The prospect of a professional career in Rugby League was nothing but a dream for Finn at that point, and so was the chance to play for a man he looked up to as a starry-eyed child.
But tonight will see the 32-year-old link up with one of his old idols as he looks to get Chester’s tenure as head coach off to a winning start at Hull FC.
“I remember watching him as a Halifax fan as a kid,” said Finn.
“I was still ballboy back then. I watched him and he could definitely play a bit back then obviously. But Wigan signed him and they signed half of our team back then. He was never there in a playing capacity while I was in the academy because he’d already gone to Wigan, but I can remember watching him as a 16-year-old lad.”
The trip to Lee Radford’s Hull is a clash between two teams without a win in three matches, but Finn is expecting to come up against a strong side at the KC Stadium tonight.
“We’re going to try and make an impression for the new coach,” he said.
“Hopefully we can start a game well for once, because that’s been the problem, we’ve had absolutely shocking starts. That’s got to be our main goal. Hopefully we can do well tomorrow and put some things into place.
“They’ve got some very big boys to take care of, which is another reason to start well because when those big boys are fresh they’re hard to handle. Our defence needs sorting out obviously, but we’ve been putting pressure on our defence with our attack because we’ve not been completing sets or getting good kicks away. We need to be a little bit more composed. We’re creating opportunities but then we’re forcing the pass or putting it to the floor.”