Hull FC have announced that former Wakefield, Leeds and Wests Tigers star Gareth Ellis will continue as their captain for the 2014 season.
Ellis took the role at the beginning of the last campaign, but his season was hampered by an injury he suffered in the warm-up at Headingley before the Black and Whites’ first game of the season.
After getting a full pre-season under his belt, Ellis is raring to go in 2014 and says retaining the captaincy is an honour.
He told League Express: “It was a big whirlwind when I first joined Hull, and taking on the role of captain was a challenge that, at that stage of my career, I felt would be a good one to take.
“Hull is a big club with a proud history and a long line of previous successful captains, so to keep the job is a huge honour.”
There have been several changes made at the KC Stadium during the off-season, not least in the dugout, where Lee Radford will lead the Airlie Birds in 2014, assisted by Andy Last.
The club has also made several new signings, including Mickey Paea, Iafeta Palea’aesina and Fetuli Talanoa, and Ellis says everyone has settled in well during pre-season.
He continued: “As hard as pre-season is, I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s the earliest I’ve been involved for ten years, so I feel like I’ve laid some really good foundations.
“Obviously with Radders (Lee Radford) coming in and the backroom staff changing, it has been a little different, but everyone has knuckled down, got to grips with the task in hand and bought in to the new ideas and ethos.
“We had a really useful trip to St George’s Park (England’s national football training centre) where the facilities were first class.”
Hull reached the Challenge Cup Final and the second round of the play-offs last season, and Ellis believes they will have to iron out the inconsistencies within their game to improve on those achievements in 2014.
“The end result wasn’t that bad last season, but inconsistency was our downfall,” he added.
“Our best was very, very good, but our worst was very, very bad. We need to be more consistent, which was the difference between ourselves and the real top teams last year.
“We already had a good team but the new recruits have made a massive impact. There is a professional attitude throughout the squad and we are bringing young players through all the time; the ingredients are there for a great season.
“I feel like I’ve still got a lot to offer. My main goal is to stay fit and play as many games as possible, but I want to go out there and be an asset to Hull FC and a thorn in the side of the opposition.”