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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 February 2006, 09:15 GMT
Kear stays upbeat on Hull future
John Kear
Kear took over from Shaun McRae
Hull coach John Kear is confident he will be in charge at the KC Stadium next season despite speculation linking Brian Smith with the Super League club.

Kear's contract runs out at the end of 2006 but he has made a big impact since replacing Shaun McRae, leading the club to Challenge Cup success last year.

Former Hull boss Smith has been linked with a return after being told he will leave Parramatta at the end of 2006.

But Kear told the BBC: "As far as I'm concerned there's nothing in it."

The former England coach added: "I would certainly like to stay because we had best year for 23 years last season."

Kear said he had spoken with Hull chief executive David Plummer about the rumours linking Smith with his job but had been assured there was no truth to them.

Kear took over from McRae at the end of the 2004 season when the Australian decided to return home to take over at NRL side South Sydney Rabbitohs.

The Airlie Birds finished fourth in the Super League table last season but ended their long wait for a trophy by upsetting Leeds 25-24 in the Challenge Cup final at Cardiff.

Kear also guided Sheffield Eagles to a shock victory in the competition in 1998 and was part of the Wigan coaching staff when the Warriors beat St Helens at Murrayfield in 2002.

Smith, who has also coached the Bradford Bulls, was in charge of Hull from 1988 to 1991.

The Australian, brother of Leeds coach Tony, has also been linked with Canberra Raiders, who will lose Matthew Elliott to Penrith next year.

Newcastle Knights coach Michael Hagan will replace Smith at Parramatta after agreeing a three-year deal.


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