Having six players selected for the 2017 Betfred Super League Dream team shows just how far Castleford Tigers have progressed, according to skipper Michael Shenton.
Centre Shenton was selected in the “best of” Super League 13 for the third time, alongside team-mates Zak Hardaker, Greg Eden, Luke Gale, Grant Millington and Mike McMeeken, as the Tigers’ previous best of two in the team was massively improved upon.
“It’s an honour for me to be chosen, it’s nice to get recognised and great to see how many players we’ve had selected this year,” Shenton told the Express.
“It shows how many players we have had playing at the top of their game, which is awesome for us.
“There could have easily been more chosen and there’s some who have been hard done by, but having six in is awesome for our club – the most we’ve had before is two.
“It shows how far we’ve come. Everyone is taking us seriously and to have so many picked shows we have got a high quality team.”
Shenton praised his fellow Tigers in the Dream Team.
He said: “I’m especially pleased for Grant Millington because he’s probably missed out when he should have been in and it’s great to see he’s getting the recognition now he deserves. He’s been sensational for us and at a real tough time in the season when we lost Adz Milner and Junior Moors, who are two of our ball playing strong forwards, he had to stand up, play big minutes and hold us together.
“To play the way we play we need a good ball playing prop and Millo is probably the best ball playing prop in the competition.
“He had to stand up and at one point he had so many bandages and strappings holding things together, but he just dug in and kept playing for us. He’s s tough old boy.
“It’s nice to see our whole left edge getting selected and nice to see the combination’s coming off. Zak and Luke have been sensational and that’s why there are in for the Man of Steel.
“Greg’s worked really hard from when we got him. He wasn’t sure if he was going to be full-back or where he was going to play, but right from the start of the season he’s worked hard and it’s really paid off for him.
“It’s awesome where he is with his game now and the amount of tries he’s scored. Some of his tries are just superb as we saw on a highlights reel at our recent presentation night.
“Hopefully he can bag a few more and get the records.”
Shenton is hoping for an England call for the World Cup and is hopeful he will be joined by the rest of the Tigers’ left edge if they can play well in the big play-off matches coming up.
He said: “It will be nice for the same left edge to go on to play for England, but it’s a tough one because we have so many quality players in England and we’re not sure what the coach is thinking.
“We’re in the Elite squad so obviously we’re in his mind, but we’ll just have to wait and see on that one.
“I think performances in the big games coming up are going to be important. These are the games you need to be playing in and playing well in if you’re going to be picked for England.
“We’ve put ourselves in a position to do that and we just have to play well now.”