Hull coach Peter Gentle was impressed on his first visit to Old Trafford, and admitted the experience gave him goosebumps.
The “Theatre of Dreams” has been the home of the Super League Grand Final since its inception in 1998, and Gentle’s Hull side are within three games of just their second appearance in the showpiece event, following on from their 2006 defeat to St Helens.
Gentle, alongside forward Sam Moa, were present for the Dream Team announcement in Manchester on Monday, giving the Australian his first taste of the home of Manchester United.
He said: “It gives you goosebumps just looking at it. I can see why there are eight coaches looking at it and saying they’d love to be here in a few weeks time.”
The first obstacle for the Airlie Birds is Huddersfield, who they face at the KC Stadium on Sunday (6pm), and Gentle is expecting a tough game.
He said: “They’ve had a very disruptive season for one reason or another, but you saw them play against Leeds on Sunday and they were on top of their game again.
“Defensively we’re going to have to be very good. Your defence will keep you in a game, and give you a shot to win. If you get your defence in order, that gives you confidence, and then the points will come.”
Gentle celebrated a sixth placed finish in the Super League table with a one-year contract extension, keeping him at the club until the end of 2015.
He added: “It’s been a satisfying year so far. A lot of work is going on behind the scenes with the academy, and I can see light at the end of the tunnel, and I want to be part of it, and take the club back to where it should be.”
Hull go in to the weekend having lost just one home league game all year – against minor premiers Wigan – although they did lose to Sunday’s opponents Huddersfield at home in a Challenge Cup clash back in April.