Castleford Tigers back Ashley Gibson is eagerly anticipating his return to the ground where it all started for him in rugby league.
Gibson is expected to be in the Tigers line-up when they take on Leeds Rhinos at Headingley on Thursday and he cannot wait to get stuck in against the club where he started his career.
He said: “It’s always a good game against Leeds and a big game.
“I enjoy it, especially with it being my home town club. It is a big derby for us now, with Bradford being out of Super League.
After a difficult injury hampered first season with Castleford Gibson has become a regular in recent weeks, either at centre or on the wing, and is enjoying his rugby again.
He has played in 12 of Castleford’s 18 games so far this year and is proving a vital utility player in Daryl Powell’s squad.
He said: “I’m enjoying it, it’s a lot better than last year, when I was sat on the sidelines most of the time.
“I am getting a bit more confidence. I only played a handful of games last year and it’s frustrating training every week and then not playing. All you want to do is be out there.
“The more game time you get, the more comfortable you feel and confidence grows.
“I am a confidence player and that seems to be growing at the minute.”
Gibson was pleased with the way the team dealt with their challenge at Hull KR last week.
He added: “We started off really well, like we did the week before, but we let them get back in the game.
“It’s a tough place to go, Hull KR and the crowd really got behind them. They got on a bit of a roll, but the pleasing thing was our defence.
“That was really good, especially making them come out of their own half. We were all over them.
“We have got quite a few players missing, if you look at our squad, but we’re not making a big deal about it.
“We’re just getting on with it. We’ve got a good squad, Daryl put a good squad together at the start of the season.
“Everyone who comes in does a job for us and that’s the pleasing thing.”