Award winning Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell is already plotting to make sure this year’s progress is not a flash in the pan.
After Powell was rewarded for the work he has put in to make the Tigers a real force again by becoming Castleford’s first-ever Super League Coach of the Year he spoke about his excitement at prospects for next season.
The Tigers may have lost some key members of this year’s team, but with eight newcomers set to report for duty when pre-season training begins next month there will be a freshness about the squad that Powell believes will help them quickly get over their near misses of 2014.
He said: “We need to integrate the players coming on board. There’s quite a number of them which I actually think is a good thing.
“I think it’ll give us a real lift. There’s some new facilities coming to the club, too, and I’m excited by next year.
“I was this year when I looked at the team and I’m just as excited now, regardless of what we’ve done and where we sit. We have a great opportunity.”
Powell believes he will have a deep squad at his disposal again, allowing him to rotate when necessary to keep players as fresh as possible.
He said: “For 2014 we got a deep squad and decent blokes, too, who could play.
“We got doubted over a fair few, but we can put ticks against most of them now.
“Hopefully we can do something similar next time.”
Powell, meanwhile, was proud to have earned the top coach accolade and delighted the club was recognised at Super League’s awards evening.
He added: “It was a huge honour to be named as Coach of the Year on what was a great night for the Tigers.
“My award really reflects the whole club and the progress we have made in the past 18 months.
“I would like to pay tribute to all the people who have supported me on the coaching front as they have been crucial. I would also like to give a big pat on the back to all our players who have been immense.”
Chief executive Steve Gill reflected on a memorable awards night for the Tigers with Daryl Clark also named Steve Prescott Man of Steel and Young Player of the Year.
He said: “It was a fantastic night for the boys and quite a few firsts for our club,
“The awards were truly well deserved by two individuals who have excelled in a great team environment.
“It was a great honour to be able to share the evening with them, knowing all eyes were on the Castleford Tigers, in what is Super League’s pinnacle awards ceremony.”