Castleford keeping tabs on progress of loan men

Mitch Clark, impressing on loan at Featherstone Rovers. Picture: Dec Hayes
Mitch Clark, impressing on loan at Featherstone Rovers. Picture: Dec Hayes

Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell is keeping close tabs on all the players the club have out on loan or dual registration.

With no reserve grade despite calls to bring it back the Tigers have sent out fringe players to Featherstone Rovers, Halifax and Sheffield in the Championship and Bradford and Newcastle in League One in a bid to give them valuable game time

Not all have met with success yet this year, but wingers James Clare and Jy Hitchcox have benefited from Halifax appearances and prop Mitch Clark is impressing at Featherstone.

All are likely to stick with their adopted clubs this week, but Powell will have no hesitation in calling them back if a spot in the first team opens up.

He explained: “It’s helpful that some of our players are getting game time, but where it gets really difficult is towards the end of the season.

“The hard thing for us is that you have another four games to watch every week because we’ve got players playing all over the place.

“It’s not easy without a reserve grade. Tuoyo Egodo, for example, hasn’t played yet - he will probably get a game for Newcastle this week.

“It’s hard to manage, but it is what it is at the moment. I’ve said for a long time I’d rather see reserves, but at the moment we’ve got good relationships with Halifax and Newcastle and that’s what we’ll go with.

“We’ve also got Callum Bustin at Bradford, Mitch Clark at Featherstone and Cory Aston and Garry Lo at Sheffield - we’ve got people dotted all over the place.”

Prop forward Clark is probably closest to winning a place in the Tigers team after his displays for neighbours Featherstone, which have impressed Powell.

He added: “Mitch Clark is on a week to week at Featherstone now his initial loan spell is over. I spoke to Mark Campbell the other day and they’re really happy with him.

“He’s playing well, but we’ve got pretty much everybody fit in the middle.

“I watch him every week and he’s getting closer. Mitch is getting some confidence and he’s done really well.

“He’s a good player. There’s a few bits and pieces we’ve asked him to fix up, but he’s pretty aggressive and when carrying the ball he’s a real handful.

“He’ll play some football for us this year and it’s up to him to stay in there. Our middle unit has a big crop of players.”