Hull FC captain Gareth Ellis has insisted he wants to keep on playing in 2018 and bring up a 20th season as a professional.
Ellis returned from injury last weekend to help Hull return to winning ways with a 14-10 success over Huddersfield. He is likely to be involved this Saturday as FC aim to keep their hopes of retaining the Challenge Cup alive with victory over former club Leeds.
And the forward says he’s keen to carry on – simply because he still enjoys playing the sport he loves so much.
“I’ve had my moments this year when I’ve been swaying backwards and forwards but I didn’t want to make any rash decision,” Ellis told PA. “I wanted to be back playing when I made the decision.
“I came off the field last week with a smile on my face and, as long as I can do that, I’d like to think I can keep on playing.”
Should Ellis carry on, he would be one of the longest-serving players in the competition next year – alongside former Leeds team-mate Jamie Jones-Buchanan, who revealed to League Express several weeks ago his intention to carry on.
And Ellis has nothing but admiration for Jones-Buchanan’s success and longevity within the sport.
He said: “We’ll both be 20 years in the game, which is a massive feat. I always remember when I first started thinking if you could get to 10 years it would be a good career.
“I’ve massive respect for Jonesy, who didn’t have it easy early in his career – he had a lot of injuries – but he got through them.
“His professionalism is second to none and that’s why players like him are playing for as long as they are.”