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Timeline: When Hull FC will appoint a Director and begin head coach search

Hull FC coach Tony Smith

Hull FC chairman Adam Pearson has revealed how the club will proceed in regards to replacing head coach Tony Smith after the Australian was sacked yesterday just 18 months into what was dubbed a five-year project.

Smith’s tenure was officially cut short after Hull FC slipped to a seventh defeat in eight this season with the manner of the defeats also being a key factor, the Black and Whites conceding a combined 36 tries in their most recent four defeats.

Being hit for 50+ points at home once again by Huddersfield Giants on Saturday proved to be the final straw for Smith who departs the club with a record of 12 wins from 37, just below a 33% win rate.

It leaves him five games shy of 300 Super League wins and a career 350 wins as a head coach but FC will be looking onwards to his replacement instead, something that will be overseen by a new Director of Rugby and not chairman Adam Pearson.

Pearson told BBC Humberside: “That appointment process has started now. We have a Director of Rugby starting hopefully next week, just dotting I’s and cross’s T’s and he’s actually working on that process now. So I will rubber stamp it, but it will be his job to find the next coach.”

When pished on a name for either the prospective new Head Coach or the Director of Rugby, Pearson refused: “I’m not going to get into conjecture and guessing games. There’s a Director of Rugby hopefully starting next week and he will take on the mantle. He’s already working through and sifting through the process now.”

When can Hull FC fans expect a new head coach?

Before a Tony Smith replacement is made, the club will first commit to a Director of Rugby who Pearson has stated will have the role of identifying “the next coach and indeed some interim players for us for this year”.

He revealed that he has already earmarked that person and that any current delay is due to them having to “extract himself from his present contract” but confirmed he is “almost certain we’ll be in a position next Tuesday to announce his name”.

Pearson added: “I’ve been conversing with this gentleman obviously for quite a long time and there is a position now it’s right for him to come in. He wants to join as soon as possible and he’s trying to make that happen as quickly as possible.”

On the tasks that the Director of Rugby will oversee, Pearson explained: “The Director of Rugby coming in will have responsibility for all performance matters, so he’ll be looking and doing an audit on all the departments behind the scenes, including overlooking the  Academy as well, but there’s less work to do there.

“The format of him coming in and looking at medical conditioning and player recruitment and control of the cap will all be his responsibility and I will work with him on that.”

Hull FC working through a “list of about three” possible Tony Smith replacements

Credit: Imago Images

Given how poorly the appointment of Tony Smith has gone, Hull FC fans will be keen to know what exactly the criteria for the new hire is.

To that point, Adam Pearson explained: “Obviously we want somebody who can get more out of this team than we’re so far getting, to create an identity of play and also understand Super League.

“These are the usual criteria we’ve got a very short list of about three that he’s working through and I think we’ll have some positive news very quickly on the head coach.”

Regarding how soon a new coach can be implemented, the chairman revealed that dependant on which hemisphere their new hire is signed from then results may vary.

“I would have thought the process to name would be relatively a short one. Obviously, if we go overseas, then the transference of that person to this country will take longer, but we have Simon Grix and Francis Cumming in charge of the team, who we’re very confident in.

“If it’s a hire from in the UK then I would expect the appointment to be pretty prompt. If Simon Grix wins the next three matches then obviously he’s in the frame.”

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