New Hull boss Tony Smith out to make Super League Grand Final history

·3-min read

Hull’s new boss Tony Smith has revealed he wants to become the first head coach to win a Grand Final with two different clubs.

The 55-year-old former England coach, sacked for the first time in his coaching career by Hull KR in July, was appointed as Brett Hodgson’s replacement at city rivals Hull on Saturday.

Smith, whose older brother Brian was in charge at Hull from 1988-90, is a two-time Grand Final winner as coach with Leeds (2004 and 2007) and a three-time losing finalist with another former club, Warrington (2012, 2013 and 2016).

After being introduced to the media by Hull chairman Adam Pearson at MKM Stadium, Smith said: “I don’t often talk about winning stuff because I don’t want to give people false expectations and put that added responsibility on.

“But I’ve won a couple of Grand Finals, only at one club. I missed out three times at another club. No other coach has done it at two clubs.

“I missed out on that opportunity. Who knows how long it might take, but I’d like to do that at some stage in my career.

“I know I’m getting to the back-end, or the twilight, of my career so I’d like to do it sooner rather than later.

Tony Smith won the Challenge Cup three times with Warrington but lost out in three Super League Grand Finals
Tony Smith won the Challenge Cup three times with Warrington but lost out in three Super League Grand Finals (Matthew Impey/PA)

“It would be a nice accolade to have. It would prove that what you do is still up to date and efficient and effective.

“So there’s a little incentive. I’ve shared that with Adam and I’m prepared to share that publicly today.

“I’d like to be the first coach to win a Grand Final at two different clubs. Hopefully that can be at this club.”

Smith has been has taken charge of his fifth Super League club following the recent departure of fellow Australian Hodgson, who stepped down two days after Hull’s 36-4 defeat to Hull KR on the final day of the Super League season.

Hull finished ninth in the table after losing seven of their last nine fixtures and Pearson confirmed new signings would only be added to the squad if current players were sold during the close season.

Smith said: “I’m happy with that. If there’s no trades, that’s fine. My job is to get the best out of whatever squad I’ve got. That’s my job, to get them to be better players.”

Hull KR announced reserve and academy coach Stanley Gene had departed on Monday morning and Smith added he hoped to announce a new assistant head coach and a strength and conditioning coach “in the next few days”.