Josh Griffin has been the shining star of Hull FC’s pre-season campaign, says the club's head of high performance Paul Hatton.
Griffin enjoyed a remarkable season for the Black and Whites in 2019, finishing the year having picked up four individual awards at the end of season dinner, including Player of the Year.
Despite his form, though, he went into the new season with his place in the squad far from secure, given the return of Mahe Fonua to the club after two years at Wests Tigers and seemingly that has drove him on in training.
Griffin has already been singled out by Radford for his leadership skills this year and he’s caught the eye of the club’s conditioning staff too with Hatton describing the centre as ‘phenomenal’.
“Probably the stand out for us in terms of everything – in terms of fitness, speed, agility, weights, skill and leadership - has been Josh Griffin. He’s been phenomenal in all areas,” Hatton told Hull Live.
“What’s probably the most impressive thing for us is we purposely gave him some younger kids to work with in the gym and he’s taken that on board, he’s taken himself to the limit and taken them with him in a positive way.
“He’s been really, really impressive, it’s exactly what you want from a senior player. You can’t fault all the senior players to be honest, they’ve all got drive and leadership.”
Griffin isn’t the only senior player to have taken it up a notch over pre-season, with Hatton also being delighted with the work of Albert Kelly.
Kelly also has huge competition for places for the stand-off role this season, with Jake Connor pushing him hard for that spot in the team and the Australian hasn’t rested on his laurels.
Kelly has raised eyebrows with the huge amount of body fat he has lost since the squad returned to action at the start of November.
“Albert Kelly has been unbelievable this pre-season,” Hatton added. “He’s lost 4 or 5 per cent of his body fat and that’s massive.
“We set quite strict targets of where they need to be in these percentages and he’s actually below the target he’s been set. His pre-season has been really impressive.
“Albert has always been a good trainer, I can never fault him in the way he trains. It’s probably away from the training ground, he likes a Caffe Gelato and that type of stuff.
“You can see in his body type, it’s changed from a short, stubby guy to a much more athletic build. His body fat is below his set target so I literally can’t fault where he’s at.”
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