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Former Super League Star James Webster Appointed New Academy Coach

Former Super League Star James Webster Appointed New Academy Coach

Thursday 10 Sep 2015 10:59am

Hull FC and Hull Kingston Rovers are pleased to announce James Webster as head coach of the new-look City of Hull Academy.

The former Hull and Rovers player and coach, who later went on to become head coach at Super League rivals Wakefield Wildcats, will take charge of the clubs’ brand-new joint Under 19s side for the 2016 season.

Webster will now work closely with the academy management team to implement new structures and oversee all aspects of training and on-field performance as the academy looks to develop Super League stars of the future.

“It’s a great challenge and one I’m extremely looking forward to. The academy is a huge project and to head it up was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down," said an excited Webster.

"In today’s market, it is very difficult to acquire top-end English players from other clubs so to be able to have the resources to produce them for ourselves is brilliant.

“Our aim is to produce players to help the first teams win matches. Hopefully, in the new system, we can produce more high quality players."

He continued, “I’ve had a tour around Bishop Burton College where the academy will be based and the facilities are outstanding.

“It is somewhere I was already familiar with having worked down there whilst I was at Hull FC but since then it has come on leaps and bounds. The hard work starts now."

Webster was selected from a pool of talented coaches and players who applied for the role, with a host of high profile individuals keen to secure the coveted position at the academy.

The applications included a current head coach at a professional English club and an experienced Super League player who is due to retire at the end of the season, such is the profile of the new setup.

Webster’s passion for developing young talent and love for the city of Hull, where he has lived for ten years, stood out in the application process and the move presents a huge opportunity for him and the academy.

Sydney-born, he moved to England in 2005 after playing for Parramatta Eels in the NRL. He coached and captained the Robins in a four-year spell at Craven Park before leaving to join the Black and Whites in 2008.

He later became assistant coach at the KC Stadium, before moving to Wakefield in 2011 where he eventually took the reigns as Head Coach until earlier this year.

During his playing career, he made 22 NRL appearances and led Hull KR to promotion to Super League.

Academy Director, Danny Wilson, is delighted with the appointment.

"We are thrilled to have secured the services of a top coach of James' pedigree in the game," said Wilson.

"He is a talented individual that has experience at the highest level, he is an astute operator and his knowledge of the game is second to none.

"There is no doubt that we have the perfect man to lead the City of Hull Academy and help us develop and promote Super League stars of the future."

He continued, "James understands both clubs and the importance of rugby league to people in the city, which was an important part of the recruitment process.

"His reputation speaks for itself and he is looking forward to the challenge. That hunger for the role meant he stood out amongst a very competitive group of candidates for the position and it is great to see such interest in what we're trying to build here in Hull.

"It is an exciting project and one we feel will be better for having someone as experienced as James at the helm."

Webster will start in his new role today meeting his coaching staff ahead of planning for the upcoming pre-season.

He will be working in line with the new Academy Director, Danny Wilson, and assistant Director, Rob Nickolay.