Hull FC starlet Denive Balmforth analyses Michael Shenton’s move from Castleford Tigers

Denive Balmforth has spoken of how special his try-scoring debut for Hull FC was last weekend.

The teenage hooker came off the bench in Saturday’s 48-12 win over Toulouse Olympique, scoring just minutes after his entrance to the field.

Balmforth, who was signed from Warrington Wolves’ youth system just a couple of months ago, has now scored on his Hull FC Academy, Reserves and first team debuts.

Speaking to hullfc.com, Balmforth discussed coming into the first-team environment at a later stage, as well as making his debut as an 18-year-old.

“For any young lad like myself, it’s always difficult coming into a first-team environment, but I can’t speak highly enough of how welcoming the boys have been with me,” Balmforth told hullfc.com.

“Obviously, making my debut was a very special moment and a very special day for me. It’s something I have dreamed of for a long time now, playing at this level.

“When Brett told me I was going to have the opportunity to play, I tried not to let it get in my head too much. I took as much of a chilled attitude towards it as I possibly could, and I think that showed when I stepped out on the pitch.

“It was amazing to get on and it was even better to score a try on my debut.

“Brett spoke to me beforehand and said that I would get 20-25 minutes, all being well. But I knew that wasn’t guaranteed, so I was staying grounded. But obviously, the lads took hold of the game and thankfully I got to make my debut.”

Balmforth also spoke highly of former Castleford Tigers centre Michael Shenton who has taken over the academy and reserves at the MKM Stadium.

“Shenny [Michael Shenton] has been brilliant to work with down at the Academy and Reserves.

“Even though I’m rarely down at the Centre of Excellence due to my ties with the first team, Shenny has already taught me a lot and it’s been a class experience so far. We have a really good relationship and that is only going to get better.”

It has been a busy start to life at the club for Balmforth, who has already accumulated several appearances for Hull FC’s Academy and Reserves teams.

The experience, though, is something Balmforth believes he can use to his advantage, with youth still on his side.

“I’m quite lucky in a sense because I’m eligible to play for the Academy, the Reserves and I can play for the first team when I’m needed,” he said.

“I think it can be a bit frustrating for the Reserves players, because their rugby is quite staggered.

“Whereas I have the chance to play every week, which is good for my development and I’m learning every week.”

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