Radford disappointed to lose captaincy

Hull FC’s Lee Radford has expressed his disappointment after missing out on the captaincy for the 2010 Super League season but insists he has no doubts the change will benefit the club.

With the regular interchanges in the pack, Radford believes that the appointment of Sean Long as captain will give Hulls consistency and leadership over the full 80 minutes of a game.

“Sean’s going to be the on-field captain and I’ll remain as club captain, which makes sense really,” said Radford. “I won’t tell you a lie if I say I’m not disappointed because I am, but the reason for it makes sense.

“I’m going to be playing a lot of front row this year and probably be stinted on and off the field whereas when Sean is likely to be an 80-minute player. It’s important the captain stays on the pitch at all times.”

Hull FC are not short of experience within their squad for 2010 and Radford believes collective responsibility will ease the burden on former St Helens scrum-half Long and drive the Airlie Birds forward.

“We’ve got a group of seven senior players within the side and many of those, including Craig Fitzgibbon, Ewan Dowes, Peter Cusack and myself have experience of captaincy,” said the 30-year old forward.

“Sean’s job will probably be a lot easier than mine over the last couple of years because there are over 1,000 games there between the names I’ve mentioned with a lot of experience – and successful experience as well.”

Hull FC will be keen to improve on last season’s Engage Super League showing when they finished a disappointing 12th and Radford believes the club’s new signings with help bring about a dramatic change in fortunes.

“We’ve recruited well in the key positions that we probably needed to. It will be interesting to see how they settle in and play in the side and what they bring,” he said.

“We had a decent squad last year but we just didn’t have the platform to pick the same side two weeks on the bounce. That’s all we’re asking for this year – injuries are a part of the game, we know that, but we’re just hoping for no more than our fair share rather than the ridiculous amount we’ve had over the last couple of seasons.”

Hull FC travel to Sean Long’s former club St Helens in their first game of the 2010 Engage Super League campaign on Saturday February 6 (5.45pm). Tickets can be purchased through the St Helens website http://www.saintssuperstore.com/ or via the ticket office 01744 450 050.

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