Challenge Cup final: Hull's Daniel Holdsworth relishing Wembley date with Wigan Warriors
Last Updated: 20/08/13 3:58pm
Daniel Holdsworth: A fan of the Challenge Cup's knock-out nature
Hull stand-off Daniel Holdsworth is looking forward to facing old teammate Matty Smith in Saturday's Challenge Cup final.
Holdsworth played alongside Smith at Salford last season but they will be opponents at Wembley when the Airlie Birds take on Wigan.
"Matty is a great bloke and a great little player too," said Holdsworth. "It will be exciting for him as well.
"He moved on at the same time as I did. He's played well this year and taken his game to a new level. I'm sure he'll be ready.
"When a big club like Wigan comes in for Matty, he's obviously going to go.
"It was the same with me when Hull started speaking to me - it was a no-brainer. I loved my time at Salford but, footie-wise, coming second last is not what you want."
"In Australia you can see the final and you understand the day and how big an occasion it is playing at Wembley but you don't really understand the concept of how it all comes about to get there. I definitely understand it now and I think it's a great concept."
Holdsworth's parents are flying over from his native Australia to watch Saturday's decider and the former Canterbury Bulldogs player is a fan of the sudden-death nature of knockout football.
"In Australia you can see the final and you understand the day and how big an occasion it is playing at Wembley but you don't really understand the concept of how it all comes about to get there," said Holdsworth.
"I definitely understand it now and I think it's a great concept."
The hard way
It is possible, in theory, to reach the final without ever meeting Super League opposition but Hull have made it to Wembley the hard way, overcoming Wakefield, Catalan Dragons and Warrington to set up a meeting with Wigan in a repeat of the famous 1985 final.
Holdsworth never got close to Wembley during his three seasons with Salford but the 29-year-old allowed himself to dream and will realise his ambition in his first season with the Black and Whites.
"It's finally here," Holdsworth said. "It's been a bit of a weird one with a four-week build-up to it but I am excited.
"In the last few years when I've watched the final, I always thought it would be amazing to get the chance to do that and now it's happening."
Holdsworth endured a difficult start to his career at the KC Stadium, where his absence due to head and calf injuries forced him to sit out 12 matches.
He was sorely missed, with Hull winning just five of those matches, but his return for the semi-final against Warrington last month proved crucial as he steered his team to victory with a superb kicking game.
It earned him the man-of-the-match award but he modestly plays down his own contribution.
"That's my job, that's what I'm here to do," he said. "It's what I've done most of my life.
"I think I get a lot of credit for stuff that I don't really do. I help out the team as much as I can in the ways that I can but the team deserves a lot of credit too.
"We had a lean period in Super League where we lost a few games in a row but no one dropped their bundle, everyone was in every day working hard to try to get their way out of it and we have."