Joe Westerman admits he’s gutted to be leaving Hull FC this autumn as his second stint at the club comes to an end.
The loose-forward was one of ten players to be released by the club after the Black and Whites failed to qualify for the play-offs last Friday, despite being a key player for the club throughout 2019.
After overcoming a knee injury which saw his first season back at the KCOM Stadium end abruptly, Westerman returned to fitness at the start of the campaign and went on to make 27 appearances and score 10 Super League tries, his most in a season since his time with Castleford Tigers.
But after seven years at Hull, split over two spells, Westerman admits the club has a place close to his heart and he has thanked the fans for the touching send-off he received on Friday night after the loss to St Helens, despite him not making it onto the field.
“The send-off was brilliant, it was really good,” he told Hull Live. “It’s a shame on the result but it was a good send-off.
“The fans stick by you through the thick and thin and that send-off that we got was brilliant, the club will always have a place in my heart and going to the KCOM Stadium, it’s definitely one of the best places you could ever play.
“I’ve had a lot of good memories there and I’ve met a lot of good people. Obviously when I came back the second time it was to win.
“I wanted to come back to a team that was winning stuff and unfortunately we haven’t. I’m a little bit gutted but I’ll always stay close friends to people there.
“They’ve seen most of my rugby, I don’t know about my best. I think when I was at Cas when I was younger I was playing some of the best rugby that I’ve ever played but I’ve certainly had the best years of my career at Hull and I’ve met mates for life there.”
The 29-year-old is expected to land at Wakefield Trinity in the off-season, making the move back to West Yorkshire where he grew up.
And Westerman firmly believes he still has plenty to offer the Super League over the next few years as a player.
“(My knee injury) was tricky,” he added. “I came back way too early to try and cement a spot in that top four last season but it feels alright now and hopefully it’ll be sweet for the remainder of my career.
“I’m only 29 and at the end of the day some people come into the best form of their lives at 29.
“I feel like I’ve got a lot, I wouldn’t carry on if I didn’t, I’d retire and be a joke throughout. I still feel like I’ve got a lot to give and hopefully I can show that.”
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