Two University of Hull Sports graduates will play a pivotal role in Hull KR’s bid to lift the coveted Challenge Cup.
Hull KR will travel to Wembley for the match against Leigh Leopards, which takes place on Saturday (August 12).
Graduates Jimmy McDaniel and James Deighton will be in key positions as the team vies to win the cup for the first time since 1980.
James Deighton, who graduated in 2014 with a degree in Sports Coaching and Analysis, will be coach Willie Peter’s right-hand man at Wembley, analysing data in real time to inform key decisions about players, having already assessed the opposition’s game.
Jimmy McDaniel, who graduated in 2020 with a degree in Sports Rehabilitation, will lead players in a mindfulness and visualisation session a day before the game and on the big day itself, he will be pitch side ready to take care of injured players.
James said: “I grew up watching Hull KR and have been a lifelong fan so to be heading to Wembley working for the team is a dream come true, it really is. And if they win I know I will have played a small but important part.”
After graduating James was invited by the University to complete an MSC in Performance Analysis alongside Hull City, and he went on to be given a job at the football club. He is a lifelong Rovers fan and when the role of Performance Analyst came up at the Super League club, he leapt at the chance, and he has been there since 2019.
He says his university studies were the key to realising his ambitions. “I am thankful to the University for the chances they gave me to complete placements at Hull City and Hull KR,” he said. “I don’t think I would be doing what I am doing without those opportunities. The job I have is stressful, there are a lot of pressures, but it is also exciting, and it has always been my dream. I am trying to remain calm about Saturday. It will be a very proud moment for me whatever happens.”