Andy Last will not get caught in the hype as he leads boyhood side in Hull derby

Andy Last will not get caught in the hype as he leads boyhood side in Hull derby

October 29, 2020

ANDY Last and emotion are socially distant ahead of leading boyhood favourites Hull FC into his first derby as first team coach.

After following the club as a boy before representing them as a player, academy coach, reserve team coach and now first team boss, today is the day he has waited for.

But even though he recalls matches at the Black and Whites’ old Boulevard home, the first at the KCOM Stadium and notable successes and defeats, he will not be getting caught up in what comes with facing Hull KR.

Last said: “I’ve coached numerous derbies at other levels and if you get caught up in the emotion, when you suffer a negative result it can hurt and linger for a long time.

“I’ve tried to distance myself from getting too attached to the game. I don’t want emotion to cloud my judgment or the clarity of my message.

“But I’ve some fantastic memories. There’s the one at Easter when we came back from 20-0 down, that was special, last year’s and some on the other side.

“Also one where I’d just got on the books at Hull as a scholarship player and both teams were in the old second tier, the First Division.

“There were 13,000 people there and I thought, ‘Wow.’”

There is a real Last-ing effect at Hull after the hometown boy took charge – and it is mainly off the field.

And it should not mean they will not be caught in traffic on the M62 as the derby takes place 122 miles away in St Helens.

Skipper Danny Houghton, who quipped they should receive Road Miles rather than Air Miles for the travelling they have done as they would be ‘minted’, said: “It’s things like housekeeping and being accountable for things.

“Over a sustained period of time it becomes the norm and players are doing it off their own back now. There’s no room for a slack session now either.

“When you turn up to the training field not in the right frame of mind, you get a poor session or a wasted session. With the short turnarounds we have now, we can’t afford any.”

While Last cannot wait to be on the touchline, opposite number Tony Smith will be at home as he is going through a 14-day Covid-19 isolation period.

He has returned two negative tests and insists he is feeling fine ahead of returning to work on Monday – his TV or laptop may not do if Rovers make mistakes.

Smith, whose assistant David Hodgson will be at the game, said: “I was tempted to go for them a few times, it’s difficult and we weren’t playing well.

“It’s frustrating. I’d like to be able to help my team at a time where it’s needed. Not having the coach there is tough for the players and me as well.

“But I’ve got to play by the letter of the law.”

Hooker Matt Parcell will face Hull with his finger in a splint after a dislocation suffered against Castleford refused to go or stay back in its socket.

And Smith added: “Normally on a straight forward dislocation, it goes straight back in but every time the physio popped it in, it popped out again, even post-game. It’s back in now and the splint is to hold it back in.”

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