Michael Shenton believes having a head coach like Brett Hodgson will make his job a lot easier as he aims to help Hull FC's youngsters successfully make the step up to Super League.
Since taking the job last year, Hodgson has made it clear that he wants to work with the club’s youth and help strengthen the pathway between the academy and first-team.
He called eight players up into the first-team environment for the start of the year and a number of others are expected to be invited to spend pre-season with the senior squad when it gets underway in a couple of weeks.
Shenton will be mentoring those youngsters this season as part of the club’s rising stars programme, helping them to gain traction in the elite set-up.
FC’s new head of emerging talent still has plenty to learn about those who he’ll be spending time with when he begins work on November 1, but he has been impressed with what he’s seen and he believes Hodgson’s attitude towards the develop of youth will be a huge help.
“It’s added motivation for them,” Shenton told Hull Live. “They know if they’re doing well and the head coach likes what he’s seen from the clips I’m showing him of them, he’ll be keen to put them in and he won’t be scared of denting the reputations of the guys above them.
“It’s exciting for these boys because they know if they keep working hard they’ll get the chance.”
He added: “At the end of the day it’s about these kids developing to play for Hull at first-team and seeing who can make it and getting more players into that team.
“From what I’ve seen with video and from talking to the staff, it looks like there’s some really exciting young players.
“That’s the exciting thing, seeing what we can do with these lads in a good variety of positions. There’s a lot to work on and you have to push them just the right amount to keep them in it, but I’m interested to get in and get to know them all personally.”
Hodgson handed out three debuts this season as Aidan Burrell, Marcus Walker and Jacob Hookem all made their way onto the Super League turf.
“I’ve watched a few games and Marcus and Jacob have really stood up well in them,” Shenton added. “I know Jacob made his debut at the end of the season I know it’s tough to go into a team lacking confidence, but he played well.
“For him, he’s had a good insight into what it is play and I expect him to keep moving forward and putting himself in the mix.
“Marcus is an exciting player, I really like him when I’ve seen him and at full-back or centre you can tell he’s got a knack and natural ability.
“Obviously I’ve got to get to know these guys personally and I’ll be making contact with them soon. There’s exciting players in there that I can work with and they’ve definitely got potential.”