Ex-Leeds Rhinos and Hull KR boss Tony Smith’s first words as Hull FC coach

The news is out: Tony Smith will be coach of Hull FC in 2023.

Less than a year after he took Hull KR all the way to the Super League semi-final, Smith is to cross the city and take over at Hull FC who recently parted company with former Man of Steel Brett Hodgson by mutual consent after a ninth place finish behind Hull KR who started the season under Smith before he dropped the bombshell news that he’d be leaving which sent the Robins into a spiral of poor form resulting in an early exit.

A great coach, Smith ended Leeds’ 32-year wait for a title in 2004 and guided them back to glory in 2007. He also led them to the 2005 Grand Final and led Warrington to three Grand Finals in 2012, 2013 and 2016.

He leaves every club in a better state than when he took over and is a man who is all about culture and will strive to develop a new culture at the MKM Stadium after some disappointing season.

A great talker, Smith has spoken for the first time as Hull FC boss noting the size of the club and the exciting opportunity in front of him.

Interestingly, there was no mention of Hull KR.

“It’s a great opportunity – one that I wasn’t expecting so soon, but I’m very grateful and excited to get started,” Smith said on the Hull FC website.

“I understand the challenges ahead, but the overwhelming feeling for me at the moment is excitement about restoring some pride in the club and taking us to some greater heights.

“In the past, I’ve had an association with the club through my family, and having lived in the city for a while, I’ve got a great understanding of how big the club is, and how much passion there is for the club to be successful.

“I’m looking forward to playing a part in the club’s great history, and hopefully we can create some more great memories for the future. I can’t wait to get started.”

“Super League is incredibly competitive, and success in sport isn’t always an easy thing to achieve – what it needs is everybody in the organisation on the same page, with plenty of positivity around the place. When that happens, you can achieve great things.

“I can guarantee a determination to restore this club to being a force in Super League, and we’ll endeavour to do that as quickly as possible.”

You can read his full thoughts here.