Shenton on season's next stage

Posted: Thursday 15th April 2021 - 6:00 PM


This article is taken from Michael Shenton's column in the April edition of Castleford Tigers' monthly club magazine ROAR, which you can read for free at castlefordtigers.com/roar.

The first few games of 2021 have been a real good hit out for us, a few of the boys missed out, I thought we looked really composed and really tidy in our early performances and then a bit scratchy against Hull in the cup but it's good to see some of what we’ve been working on in training coming to fruition.

Plenty of positives there as well as a lot to work on. I think our halves were great, Gaz and Danny have both played their part and they’ll both be there for squad selection and we’re starting to see the real depth in our squad, it’s been a while since we’ve had 20/21 fit blokes to pick from, so there’s real competition for places in there and that should lead us forward into having a really good start to the season. Looking at the start of the season, the first four or five league games are key and you want to get at least four of those ideally. Of course you want to win all of them, but realistically it doesn’t always happen.

Coming up we’ve got Leigh, and we can’t underestimate them, especially with their signing of Nathan Peats, it’ll be tough game but it’ll also be us back at home, it’s been a while since we’ve played here. Then after that obviously, Wigan games are Wigan games, it’s a great measuring stick to see where we are, you’d like to think they’re one of the strongest teams in the comp this year so that’ll be a challenge. We round out April against Salford, there always competitive games against Salford, and under a new coach they’ll be keen to impress so I imagine they will want to get stuck into us.

There’s numerous reasons why we want this year to be our best year but one of the main ones is that it’s going to be Daryl’s last season at the club. What he’s done for this place is incredible and I guarantee you that this being his final season here makes it even more important for everybody, including Daryl, myself, and all the players that we make this a special year.

He’s been part of the reason that this place has changed the way it has, on- and off the field he’s driven standards from within. You’ve got to be certain kind of player to have to play for Castleford now which is great and I think there’s a lot of things that Daryl has implemented that we can take forward as we move on in terms of how we play our football and I think there’s a lot there that makes us special.

We want to make sure that there’s a real strong legacy for Daryl here but there’s plenty of time yet to talk about that and Powelly won’t want that to distract people. There’s a time come the end of the year, where we can talk about Powelly and how good he is, I’m sure he’ll love that! But right now, the focus has got to be on playing and he’s the one driving that. We wish him all the best in future, but right now we’ve got an important job to do.

I’m happy with where we are right now, we’ve gone a bit under the radar, lots of talk about other teams, and it’s happened to us before has that, so that’s kind of how we like it! The playing group is in a real good place and I’m confident that we can be a top four team this year!

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