NEW Castleford Tigers signing Cory Aston believes the strong competition he faces to win a place in his half-back position will drive his game to a new level in 2018.
Aston this week officially joined a Tigers squad already containing three proven half-backs in Man of Steel Luke Gale, fellow World Cup player Ben Roberts and another off-season signing, Jamie Ellis, plus talented teenager Jake Trueman.
But the 22-year-old former Leeds Rhinos and Sheffield Eagles player reckons they can all help each other to develop as players and he is looking forward to the challenge ahead.
He told the Express: “I realise I face some competition to get a place in the first team with four very good half-backs already at Castleford.
“It’s going to be tough, but it’s competition I’m really looking forward to. It’s only going to bring the best out of me and other players as well, trying to win them first team spots. I’m going to be challenging them and they are going to be challenging me
“I can learn off great players like Luke Gale and Jamie Ellis and Jake Trueman is a great young half-back as well. Just picking stuff up off each other can help all our own games. Training alongside these guys is definitely going to help me.
Aston, who signed a two-year deal with Castleford after being released by Leeds Rhinos, explained how the move came about.
He said: “I wasn’t getting an opportunity at Leeds and I was playing out on loan at Bradford when Daryl approached me and asked if I would be interested in coming to Castleford.
“He was really keen to take me on board and I had a good chat with him.
“It’s a great opportunity for me and one I had to take and hope to make the most of.
“I’ve signed a two-year deal and hope I can progress as a player.
“After things didn’t work out for me at Leeds it’s great to have a chance now at Castleford with the type of players that are here.
“It’s good that all the coaches here are all ex-half-backs and they can really help me improve my game.
“I love the way Castleford play, they really move the ball and it’s a style I think will suit my game, it’s the way I like to play.”
On his own ambitions for 2018, Aston added: “First I want to get a few games under my belt in the friendlies and then one of my goals is just to get that first team debut - then we’ll go from there.
“I’d love to play in Super League, which I haven’t done yet in my career so my aim will be just to break into the squad really.
“Nothing’s been said to me yet about whether I will be playing in the Boxing Day game, but it’s an interesting one against Featherstone where I played last year and have a few friends.”