Rugby league legend Garry Schofield has sympathy for incoming Hull FC coach John Cartwright

BY GARRY SCHOFIELD, in his League Express column ‘Pulling No Punches’.

WELL someone had to take the Hull FC job!

Having pitched for Paul Rowley, who decided to stick with Salford, and having been linked with Adrian Lam (more of him later) and Lee Briers, the Black and Whites have announced John Cartwright as coach from next season.

It’s disappointing that Hull, for whatever reason, haven’t been able to appoint a British coach, but Cartwright has an impressive CV.

He was a very good player, a second rower for Penrith Panthers, Salford (briefly), New South Wales and Australia.

And he coached Gold Coast Titans for a lengthy spell before working under the late Paul Green at North Queensland Cowboys, Des Hasler at Manly Sea Eagles and now Kevin Walters at Brisbane Broncos, where of course Lee Briers is also on the staff.

In addition, Cartwright will be part of the New South Wales coaching team led by Michael Maguire for the forthcoming State of Origin series, which gets going in Sydney a week on Wednesday and which, as ever, I’m really looking forward to.

That’s a lot of experience which he’s been able to call on as he perfects his trade.

He’s going to need it as he attempts to revive the fortunes of an undoubtedly big club but one that has really hit the buffers in recent years.

I’m not sure how well he’s been able to keep in touch with Super League from more than 10,000 miles away, and I chuckled to myself when he promised the Hull fans they will see a fit and hungry side next year.

That should be a given, and it will need a lot more than that. Now that he’ll be watching footage of games and doing his homework on the players, he’ll realise that it’s not about changing A, B, C and D. At Hull, the list goes right through to Z!

I’ve often said that players make coaches rather than the other way around, and he’ll be starting to work on who he wants to keep, who he wants to lose and who he wants to bring in.

It’s a big job and, as I’ve said recently, Hull have more reason that most to like the new IMG club-grading system.

Without it they would be in real danger of dropping out of Super League and it’s given them, and their incoming coach, some breathing space as they start the rebuilding process.

It’s going to be interesting watching it progress.

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