SUPER League Coach of the Year Daryl Powell is just as excited about Castleford Tigers’ 2015 potential as he was ahead of this incredible campaign.
The 49-year-old was rightly bestowed with that individual award this week having performed heroics turning around Castleford’s fortunes.
He guided them to a Challenge Cup final and their best-ever Super League finish of fourth while the free-flowing Tigers were within just 80 minutes of finishing top for the first time.
Many of the stars of that success – Man of Steel and Young Player of the Year Daryl Clark, leading goalkicker Marc Sneyd and inspirational prop Craig Huby – have now moved on to pastures new for next term.
But when asked about what is required to maintain the standard in 2015, Powell said: “We need to integrate the players coming on board. There’s quite a number of them which I actually think is a good thing.
“I think it’ll freshen us up and give us a real lift. There’s some new facilities coming to the club, too, and I’m excited by next year.
“I was this year when I looked at the team and I’m just as excited now regardless of what we’ve done and where we sit.
“We have a great opportunity.”
England Knights scrum-half Luke Gale arrives from Bradford Bulls, while Powell has turned to NRL club Melbourne Storm for stand-off Ben Roberts and second-row Junior Moors.
Four more come from London Broncos – their captain Matt Cook, ex-England hooker Scott Moore, Denny Solomona and highly-rated young second-row Mike McMeeken – while Featherstone Rovers prop Steve Crossley is hoping to be as successful as former team-mate Liam Finn was this season after stepping up from the Championship. Powell admits his recruitment last time was possibly the best of his career and he said: “We did a couple of things. We got a deep squad and decent blokes, too, who could play. We got doubted over a fair few, but we can put ticks against most of them now.
“Hopefully, we can do something similar next time.”
On his own award, Powell said: “When you get recognised by your fellow coaches you have to be happy. But I’m delighted for the club, I’ve been able to have an impact which is what you always want to try and do as a coach.”