CASTLEFORD coach Ian Millward believes Sunday’s opponents Hull are “the perfect side” to play in his side’s first pre-season friendly.
“Hull have already said they are aiming for silverware in 2013 and with one of the best back rowers in the game in Gareth Ellis, they will offer a real test for us to evaluate where we are at,” said Millward (pictured) ahead of this weekend’s clash at the KC Stadium.
The Tigers boss says Sunday’s game (2pm kick-off) can’t come soon enough.
“My main focus for pre-season has been on hard work and I have been really impressed with the attitude from everyone in the squad. The new signings have fitted in really well but the existing players have all stepped it up in training too,” he added.
“The coaching staff have been challenging the boys and they have been excited to accept those challenges both physically and mentally. We just want to start playing now and have an opportunity to put our new structures in to practice.
“For me this first game is about us being consistent and competitive for the full 80 minutes. Individual players each have their own goals but it is ultimately about giving a good team performance.”
Sunday’s game will celebrate Kirk Yeaman’s testimonial but the Hull FC stalwart admits it’s the match not the occasion he’s most looking forward to.
Yeaman said: “I think it’s a bit of a fresh start for both sides. We’ll have players like Gareth Ellis and Daniel Holdsworth playing for the first time plus a former Cas player in Joe Arundel, while Cas have some new recruits themselves.
“Jake Webster is a player I know well from the derby matches and Jamie Ellis is a former team mate too, so we know what they’ll bring to the side.
“I have a lot of time for Castleford and their fans and I’ve always enjoyed playing at the Jungle, as we used to call it!”
Tickets for the match are now on sale at the KC Stadium ticket office as well as on the day of the game. They cost £12 for adults and £6 for juniors.
The usual away stand, the North Stand, will not be open for the match so Tigers supporters will be sat in the north end of the West Stand in sections W10 and W11.