Hull ready to join the elite, says Pearson

Hull FC owner Adam Pearson is confident that his club can join the Rugby League elite in 2016, after several years of under-performing.
The Airlie Birds hammered their deadly rivals Hull Kingston Rovers on Sunday, winning 60-20 at the KC Stadium and winning the Clive Sullivan Trophy.
After a close season in which the club has recruited strongly from the NRL, Pearson is confident that the Hull fans will flock back to the club after several years of declining crowds.
“We’ve lost about 1,500 season ticket holders and gained 900, so we are down at this stage, but at last we have a squad that I think can really challenge the big clubs in the game,” Pearson told League Express.
“I just want to put Hull FC on the map.
“We now have a tremendous blend of experience and youth, and players like Frank Pritchard really perform at the business end of the season and have a great impact on some of the younger players at the club.
“Lee Smith will come down to the salary cap; we would have to move another player out to fit him in. The lads and the coach would like to keep him.
“This is the most expensive squad we have ever had at Hull.
“I am completely obsessed with Hull being successful.
“We have taken some wrong decisions, but I am a lot happier with our recruitment in the last two years than in the first three years when I owned the club. Our director of rugby Motu Tony’s knowledge of the Aussie market has been vital in recruiting players who give us some physical presence.
“Our opening game is against Salford, and we are making a massive push for that game. We have invested a lot in the matchday experience.”
Hull coach Lee Radford admitted that he would like to complete the signing of Smith.
“He’s been good; he’s carried himself really well in training and he backed it up in the two games he’s played,” said Radford.
“We’ll sit down with him and hopefully we can get something fixed up. Motu (Tony) has got the calculator out and I’d love to give him a whirl, because I think he’s top drawer.”