FOR MOST players, the advent of pre-season training brings a sense of foreboding. Dread, even. Not so Hull KR’s Danny Addy.
Although the work is hard, gruelling and relentless as the Scotland international prepares for the new campaign, he relishes every day.
That is because it represents a step closer to actually playing again. For someone who missed the entire 2018 season, it means a lot.
It was in January that Addy succumbed to a complex knee injury, a serious rupture of an anterior cruciate ligament, suffered in the friendly against derby rivals Hull FC.
Having helped Rovers win promotion after joining from Bradford Bulls, his second campaign was, then, spent frustratingly watching from the sidelines.
Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, the versatile Addy admitted: “It’s great to be back now.
“I’ve really missed it training with the lads.
“I did a couple of weeks towards the back end of last season which was steady away.
“But I’m in full training now since we returned in last week and it’s good.
“My aim is just to put it all behind me what happened last season. Forget about it.
“I don’t want to look back. I know it will be hard to get my confidence back and the knee issue will always be at the back of my head. But I’m desperate to get going and show what I can do.”
Rovers finished tenth last term, meaning they had to battle in the Qualifiers to avoid a second relegation in three years.
However, they are building well for 2019 with the capture of Leeds Rhinos’ Grand Final-winning prop Mitch Garbutt and North Queensland Cowboys centre Kane Linnett – Addy’s Scotland team-mate – among their big recruits.
To the surprise of some, head coach Tim Sheens shed players of the ilk of Chris Clarkson, James Donaldson and Danny Tickle in the off-season, who can all play back-row like Addy.
It is a confidence boost for the 27-year-old, though, that the Australian sees him as a big part of his plans moving forward.
“I signed for three years so that was one of the main reasons I didn’t have to rush back last season,” explained Addy, who took over coaching Scotland Under 19s to help keep busy.
“The club was good; they told me as soon as I did the injury that I didn’t have to rush back.
“It might have been different if I had been up.
“They have let some of my close mates go; Donno [James Donaldson]– who has done his ACL a few times and was brilliant helping me through this – Clarky [Chris Clarkson] and Kav (Ben Kavanagh).
“I travelled in with a couple of them so it wasn’t nice to see them leave. But we have made some quality signings and, on the other hand, my main goal is to find my own spot and keep it.”
And what is that spot? Pontefract-born Addy is equally adept at hooker, loose forward, half-back and centre.
“It will probably be the same as every year – all over the shop!” he joked, with Rovers’ opening Super League game a home derby with FC on February 1.
“I want to try nail one spot rather than play six different ones but I’ve always said I’d play anywhere.
“A ball-playing 13 is probably my preferred role but sometimes we play an extra front-row there.
“I think there may be a bit of hooker, trying to play 80 minutes but switching during the game.
“We’ll see how it pans out.”
* Leigh Centurions have confirmed John Duffy as their new head coach after Featherstone Rovers terminated his contract earlier this week.
However, Leigh counter-claim Duffy was never under contract for 2019 and both clubs are taking legal advice.