WAKEFIELD TRINITY head coach Chris Chester believes Albert Kelly will improve Hull FC even further in 2017.
His side take on the Challenge Cup holders – who also led Super League for most of last year – in their season opener at Belle Vue on Sunday.
Hull are set to give a debut to Kelly, the mercurial Australian half-back who signed from Hull KR.
Chester initially brought him to the UK when he was in charge at Rovers and, though the 25-year-old has had a chequered past, does not believe he will be a risky recruit.
“Well, if you get the Albert Kelly of 2015 there’s no risk at all is there?” he said, about the exciting former Gold Coast Titan.
“He won nearly every award going that year.
“He has had one or two setbacks but remains an excellent player and, at Hull, he compliments Marc Sneyd very well also.
“I know what a talent he is; Alby is a very good player and he will make a difference to that side.
“He’s a good runner of the ball and a good defender, too.
“Personally, I enjoyed working with him and he is a really great guy.
“We know he can make things tough for us – he’s difficult to stop when he’s really on his game – but we’ve put some plans in place which we think means we’re capable of getting the result.
“And there are 16 other players out there, too, so we can’t just concentrate on what Albert Kelly does.”
With injuries to Josh Bowden and Dean Hadley, Hull coach Lee Radford could introduce youngsters Jansin Turgut and Masimbaashe Matongo to his 19-man squad.
“The young blokes have had plenty of opportunities thanks to the game-time they’ve been given,” he said.
“The (pre-season) results weren’t what we wanted them to be but the time on the field has done them the world of good and they’re in the mix.
“Gareth Ellis will be good to go but Josh Bowden won’t make it in time.
“He’s not recovered as quickly as we thought he would.
“Dean Hadley will be missing for another couple of weeks, I think, and he won’t be available on Sunday.”