Genuine depth of squad delights Castleford boss

Greg Minikin in action in one of the games in which he has impressed for Castleford Tigers this year.
Greg Minikin in action in one of the games in which he has impressed for Castleford Tigers this year.

Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell is delighted with the way his players have kept the club in top four contention despite having to deal with the sort of injury crisis that has derailed several other top Super League clubs this year.

While champions Leeds Rhinos, top four team Huddersfield Giants and, spectacularly last week, Wigan Warriors have all struggled when faced with mounting injuries, the Tigers have simply got on with the job without fuss and have managed three wins from their last four matches despite being without at least nine first teamers in every one of those matches.

They now go to Wigan tomorrow night with their confidence buoyed that whoever takes the field they can give the hosts a real run for their money.

Head coach Powell told the Express: “The selection policy last week was if you’re fit, you’re in. Hopefully in the near future we’ll be able to have a little bit of a selection issue, but that’s not the case yet.

“But the players are doing a great job. No matter who’s been in there they have been doing the club proud.

“We’re just battling our way through. I think the players have earned the right that I can speak about them in a positive way regardless of the names that are on the teamsheet, which is fantastic.

“We’ve won three of our last four games and I thought we really threw a lot at Catalans and weren’t far away. The Easter period has been an awesome one in terms of proving the depth of our squad.

“I have sort of decided after the weekend that we are not going to be too worried talking about injuries any more.

“We’ve got a squad, there’s a genuine depth about it and whichever game we go into we’re confident that whoever is going to take the field is going to do a great job for us.”

Powell is particularly pleased with the development of the young players in the squad.

He said: “You go into a season with people like Greg Minikin who’s come from York and Tom Holmes from the under 19s and you are not really sure how good they’re going to be when they step up.

“The fact they have been able to step in there and do such a positive job has been a really big lift for us I think.

“As well as Tom and Greg there’s Will Maher who has done a good job and Gadwin Springer, who’s only 22.

“We’ve got loads of young 20 and 21-year-olds on our right edge, Minikin, Holmes, McMeeken. It bodes well for the future and for now – they’re doing a great job now and it’s great to see.”