The Stars of West Hull Going Pro!
Earlier this month, Hull FC named four more West Hull junior graduates in the friendly squad against dual-feeder club, Doncaster. A game which Hull FC won 72-12. The quadruple that played for West Hull throughout their amateur days we're Joshua Atkinson, Charlie Patterson-Lund, Jordan Webster and Jack Bartlett all came on as substitutes during the second half and following their debuts for the Black And Whites, I managed to speak to Jordan and Josh about their rise up the ranks.
Q1: What did it feel like to receive the call up to the first team squad for the friendly against Doncaster?
Joshua Atkinson : At the time it was very unexpected and caught me by surprise but I was very overwhelmed with it and very excited to get the opportunity.
Jordan Webster: First of all it came as a surprise after not being involved with the first team since the back end of last season, but I was buzzing to be back involved with some of my best mates and with the first team boys especially supporting hull since I was little.
Q2: Was playing in front of Hull FC supporters something you have dreamed of as young lads?
JA: I already dreamed of playing rugby growing up and once the opportunity came to sign for Hull Fc there was no doubt about it and from there on, all I wanted to do was play for in front of the Hull supporters.
JW: Definitely I know how passionate the FC fans are after going with my dad and his mates since the age of 4, so to get the chance to play in front of them was something that excited me.
Q3: The four of you have come via the ranks of West Hull and being very successful there, has this played a part in your rise up and if so, how has it?
JA: Coming through the ranks with the boys has always been a help as we’ve gone through it together and it’s always nice to have a familiar face around when playing and training.
JW: I think Rob Wilson has had a big influence in our progression, he’s played a big part in our development since we’ve all joined West Hull and at our best we was one of the best sides in the country so a big part was down to him but just also holding high regards and standards for ourselves after being in that winning environment.
Q4: How supportive was the West Hull coaches towards your journey's and what kind of support did they offer?
JA: The coaches at West Hull was always very supportive especially Rob Wilson, they helped me get to where I am today, the support they offered was just helping me to become a better player and being in such a successful West Hull team helped as you had to fight to keep your position in the team each week
JW: I think they made us better but tougher people mentally which was a good thing. This probably ties in with our success on the pitch at West Hull but think it’s helped with our progression through to academy level.
Q5: Now that you have made your debuts for Hull FC, what is your next goal?
JA: At the minute I’m focused on my last year with City of Hull and to get to the play offs with the boys, but as it’s my last year for COHA I’ll also be looking ahead to get a full time contract with the first team for the next few years hopefully.
JW: I think the next step is to stand out and impress at academy level then hopefully get a chance to put myself in the shop window for the coaching staff and perform when reserves comes into play which is another important step up.
Q6: What kind of advice would you give fellow West Hull juniors who want to be just like you, to debut for Hull FC?
JA: The advice I would give it too give everything 100% because you never know who’s watching or when your next opportunity will come, so always be ready.
JW: Make sure you’re enjoying rugby or it’s not worth it, always listen to what coaches say and try to go away and improve whatever they are telling you to, as they know best to help you get better. Always remember it’s never too late to improve and stand out so don’t let set backs worry you or effect your desire to carry on.
Following my interview with Jordan and Joshua, I managed to also speak to Rob Wilson, who has coach ed the four players at West Hull who made Hull FC debuts, and also the City Of Hull Academy Here’s what Rob had to say to GRM SPORT:
“I’m very proud of all the lads. Charlie has worked very hard last season to get himself in great shape and he had a really good season last year. Meanwhile Josh is very young, one of the youngest in his age group, but still played with a lot of confidence against players who potentially had more years of experience at this level. Jordan has always been very smart around acting half back and will cause any teams problems while Jack is maturing into a very good centre, I also think he could do very well in the back row to be honest as he runs good lines and is a big, strong lad. Charlie joined West Hull at U12-13's but the other 3 lads have been with me since they were 10 or 11 and it is very pleasing to see them grow from little boys into quality young men off the pitch and very good players on it.”