Meet Cas PDRL: Anthony Summerfield

Posted: Monday 1st June 2020 - 8:00 AM

By Adam Rimmington

Able-bodied, hard-hitting, Star Wars loving (except the last one) ‘Tosh’ who I can assure you has the biggest collection of NRL gear in the Northern Hemisphere...

How did you get into PDRL?

I heard about PDRL through Neil Barnaby at the Foundation, myself and a few others started out on one of the Foundation's weight management programs in late 2016. We all got on really well with each other from the beginning so much so that after the programme had finished we continued doing activities together both rugby league based and team building (Wetherspoons). It was early 2018 when the concept was first mentioned to us. Some of the boys slotted straight into the categories set out, but a few others like myself, we categorised as being able-bodied, but were able to assist on the field to keep the game flowing with certain restrictions I couldn’t say no to this. We had some great coaches that got the team on its feet. The experience passed on to us by Andy Lynch, Tim Rumford, Kieran Hickman and Neil we’re greatly appreciated by all.

Favourite moment playing for Castleford?

There’s so many it’s hard to choose. The first match against Leeds at Headingley was a real eye-opener it really gave us a proper look at how to play this sport against a Leeds team who had been together much longer than ourselves. Walking out at Old Trafford last season is up there too, but it has to be playing down at the Lane against Leeds at half time in an exhibition match in front of a full house. The crowd were really into the match, and you could see why the players love it so much out on the field.

What do you think about the PDRL structure?

It’s a great concept, but I think it could be tweaked a little in places, like having 13 a side on a standard pitch. But it is only a few little details like this I would change and overall I love it.

Best moment in rugby league?

Either the 2017 semi-final win at The Jungle or the 2007 win at Headingley to earn promotion back to Super League, both were amazing days for their own reasons, the atmosphere created by the Tigers faithful is second to none. It is one of the main reasons Rugby League is the sport it is.

How did the first season go for you personally and as a team?

Personally, it was a bit mixed, I had a rough start to the year, and that showed in my pre-season preparation. It wasn’t until midseason when I found my feet, and that’s when I started enjoying being on the pitch, but family commitments meant I missed the Blackpool tournament. In the run-up to the Blackpool trip, we had a last-minute training session to get ready with some set plays that I dislocated my knee and tore my lateral ligament, this put me out of the final match of the season, but I did manage to make an Old Trafford appearance, even if I did mean I had a brace on.

As a team the boys prepared really well they looked strong straight from the off, we are a really tight-nit group of lads who look after each other on and off the pitch. If it wasn’t for a couple of tight games going against us, I really think it could have been us who were champions last season.

Best player you have played with?

There’s a couple, first, you’ve got Kenan Wilkes, his passion and commitment is outstanding, he is one of the reasons I love this sport. Then there’s Dave (farmer) Palmer, he’s an animal, his power and pace is up there so much so he could probably get in the first team.

What are you hopes for next season?

Going all the way and winning the lot, we’ve got the numbers, the core of the team has some real class in there. Just have to win those real arm wrestles and keep our composure doing it. That coupled with the team spirit we have will hopefully see us through.

How are you coping with the situation at the moment?

Disney+ is a big part of it, I got my bike out and have enjoyed going for a ride especially with the weather. Walking the dogs and reading books that have been recommended (Adam need some more) and the usual chilling on the sofa.

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