Tony Smith explains how one key area will develop culture changes at Hull FC

The Black and Whites’ motives have been well-documented this pre-season.

Tony Smith is challenging his Hull FC players to take their current buzz into the Super League season. The Black and Whites have started the year with two trial game wins but the real competition starts against Castleford Tigers this Sunday afternoon.

Knowing that they will face tougher challenges as the year progresses, Smith is counting on Hull to maintain the bar set with combinations expected to blossom and the team spirit getting stronger.

Maintaining a standard of behavior and professionalism, Hull have already rediscovered some former traits under their new boss, with enjoyment pinpointed as the key factor.

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“We’re very positive,” Smith told Hull Live. “There’s been a good effort and energy around the place. Hopefully, we can continue to develop that with style and some of the combinations on show getting stronger as the year goes on.

“That’s our aim and we’ll build towards that. We know we’re going to get bigger challenges than what we’ve had so far. We understand that and that’s going to come in round one most definitely. We’re up against a very good team in Castleford but we’re all in this together and it’s important for us all to make this work to be successful.

“It’s important for us to take pride in what we do and how we go about it. We’ve got to enjoy it. That helps you put in greater effort and go to different and higher levels. We try to do that by making it different and training at the stadium (on Friday) was different – it was a privilege. Hopefully, we get that again.”

Smith is now hoping that enjoyment really embeds deep into his side. The squad have talked about a buzz and a buy-in throughout pre-season with the new methods and a new way of playing..

Engaging his players, that approach in Smith’s view can soon become something more, enabling two traits in style and desire that have been highly talked about at Hull over pre-season. Not only that, but it sets a standard throughout the club.

“When you get that enjoyment it becomes part of your DNA and becomes part of what you do as a club,” Smith continued. “It’s important not just for what we do now but what we are producing for the future.

“If young people and young players are watching the current team produce performances where everyone is putting in, that becomes the standard and what’s expected of you. We’ve got a chance now to impart behavior on future generations.

“That’s how you develop culture – that’s our opportunity at the moment and we’re hoping to follow that through. It won’t be all smooth and it won’t be all be an easy road. We’re going to have to overcome some obstacles along the way.

“That’s part of us and we’ve got to become tough enough to overcome those barriers that are going to be thrown at us by opposition players, by injuries, and all sorts of things that will test us. It’s about coming together and overcoming all of those things.”