Super League build-up - Hull FC’s Adam Swift aiming to blow away effects of pandemic

Having suffered with coronavirus, and also seen his wife and new-born baby hospitalised due to the pandemic, it is understandable why Hull FC winger Adam Swift is relishing starting a fresh campaign in 2021.

Better times ahead: Hull FC winger Adam Swift. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

He joined the Black and Whites from St Helens last year already with a point to prove, having been found surplus to requirements at his home-town club.

Swift, who won the 2014 Grand Final with Saints, had been edged out by Regan Grace but was looking forward to rediscovering his best with a new start.

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However, for myriad reasons, including a number of injuries and the form of Ratu Naulago and Bureta Faraimo, he managed just five appearances.

New signing: Former New South Wales stand-off Josh Jones. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

But lockdown played its part, too, and the 28-year-old was then one of the nine players who tested positive for Covid at the East Yorkshire club, just days after the sport resumed in August.

On that experience, Swift recalled to The Yorkshire Post: “It was pretty tough. I’m not going to lie.

“I was one of the first to be tested positive at the club and then my daughter, who was three weeks old at the time, contracted the virus. She ended up being in hospital for a week, went through every antibiotic under the sun and had sepsis as well and it was a tough time for us.

“The missus had Covid also. They were incarcerated at the top of Hull Royal (Infirmary) and no-one wanted to go near them.

“It was a tough time for us as a family but it’s one we can look back on now and be very grateful for where we are all at.

“We’re all fit and healthy now and we’ll be glad to see the back of this bloody pandemic.

“As a season, it was frustrating and one I’m not going to look back on and boast about. It was a disappointment for me, to say the least.

“It wasn’t the season I’d envisaged my first one at Hull being like but it’s in the past now. It was a tough season for everyone with the Covid situation. I’m looking forward to this one.”

Hull, of course, have a new head coach with Brett Hodgson having replaced Andy Last, who was in interim charge following Lee Radford’s sacking last March.

Hodgson has been impressed with Swift’s performance in pre-season training and he earned a start on the left wing for the friendly at York City Knights.

Swift scored in the Airlie Birds’ only outing before the Super League opener against Huddersfield Giants on Sunday week.

“I’d not played a game in a very long time – something like six months – and it was good for me to get out there and blow some cobwebs away,” he said, matches against Wakefield Trinity and Warrington Wolves last September being his only games since February.

“It was good to do that. It’s been a long nine weeks of pre-season and the lads were excited to get out on the pitch and show what we’ve been working on.

“We’re tweaking some things this week after that York game and then we’re going into this first game of Super League against Huddersfield which should be an interesting one.”

Although Naulago has since switched codes to join Bristol Bears – the Fijian flier has already scored six tries for the Guinness Premiership leaders – competition is still stiff for wing spots at KCOM Stadium in 2021.

Swift, who is out of contract at the end of the season, conceded: “There’s plenty of it. There is at every club nowadays. It’s healthy and keeps you on your toes.

“It gets you training at your best every day and if you turn up with a slack attitude or you’re not too good in training, you know someone else could be as good in your position and you could be sidelined for a few weeks.

“Here, we have Mahe (Fonua) and Bureta, who finished the season in great form last year.

“But then we also have some really good young outside backs coming through.”

Hull finished sixth last term but had a late surge to reach the Super League semi-finals where they missed out to Wigan.

Their only new signing is former New South Wales State of Origin stand-off Josh Reynolds, in direct contrast to opening round opponents Huddersfield who have revamped their squad under new coach Ian Watson, Hull’s Great Britain second-row Josh Jones being one recruit.

Swift said: “I’m expecting them to throw the ball around a bit especially with Watson there and looking at what he did with Salford; the way he had those boys attacking was phenomenal and at times it was great to watch.

“Huddersfield have probably got better players than Salford had. So, with their armoury and the outside backs, Huddersfield are going to be a good test for us to see where we are at.”

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