Frustrated Hadley hoping to make up for lost time at Hull FC after Wakefield Trinity loan

IT HAS come 12 months later than expected but Dean Hadley can now belatedly make his mark in Hull FC colours.

Dean Hadley

The talented second-row is back at KCOM Stadium after a fruitful season-long loan with Wakefield Trinity and keen to at last establish himself in Black and Whites colours.

Granted, Hadley, who came through the academy ranks at hometown Hull, thought he might have chance to do just that last term.

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However, head coach Lee Radford decided he wanted the hard-hitting forward to gain further experience elsewhere.

“When he first put a loan deal to me it did take me by surprise as it didn’t come up until the first round of the season,” Hadley recalled to The Yorkshire Post.

“I’d done a full pre-season with Hull and I was looking forward to maybe getting a lengthy spell in the side as Frank (Pritchard) had left and I’d been told my chances of playing were greater.

“But I think quite a lot of it was to do with salary cap. Wakefield and Leigh were interested in taking me for the year but at first I told Radders I wanted to stay and fight for a place.

“He was quite honest with me, though. He said he wanted me at Hull but, with those salary cap issues, didn’t know when I could play.

“I didn’t want to be go four, five or six weeks without playing. The way Wakey had been going, it just felt right to go there.

“I’m glad I did as, obviously I really enjoyed last year. It was great getting so many games as I did. That’s what I went for really and I do think it really improved me as a player.

“It was very beneficial and Wakey had a great season, too.”

Hadley -– who spent time on loan with York City Knights and Doncaster earlier in his FC career – played 22 games for Trinity, starting in 15 and becoming an integral part of Chris Chester’s squad who came so close to the top-four.

He clearly proved he has what it takes to deliver in the upper echelons although he realises he still has his work cut out forcing his way into Radford’s starting XIII.

Italy captain Mark Minichiello, 35, and Tonga captain Sika Manu, 30, are Hull’s regular back-rows although, of course, their formidable captain and loose forward Gareth Ellis has now retired.

“I am fortunate here,” conceded Hadley.

“You’ve got two players who are the captains of their country while I don’t think you can have a better player than Gareth Ellis to learn from.

“His record speaks for itself and he is so professional and respected. You can’t help but learn and I’ve managed to work alongside him for a few years before his retirement. He’s football manager now and so still around the place.

“But I think it’s time I’ve got to stand up now and start being a leader myself. Hopefully I get a chance.”

Being at Belle Vue last year meant Hadley missed out for a second season running in being part of Challenge Cup glory.

“It’s a strange feeling,” he said. “Being a Hull lad and fan, it was great to see the club finally win at Wembley and not only do that but then do back-to-back Challenge Cup final wins like we have. It was a really special time but for myself, as a rugby player, I want to be part of those games so it was a little bit disappointing as well.

“Maybe we can make it three on the bounce, though, and also go that step further in Super League and get to a Grand Final,” added Hadley, who showed his versatility in Danny Houghton’s testimonial game against Hull KR on Sunday starting at loose forward before switching to hooker.