CASTLEFORD TIGERS were today celebrating news of a new four-year contract for coach Daryl Powell.
The agreement will keep Powell – rated as one of the top bosses in Super League – at Castleford until the end of the 2020 season.
The former Keighley Cougars, Leeds Rhinos and Featherstone Rovers coach was partway through a five-year deal he signed in 2014, but today’s decision will end speculation over his long-term future.
Powell has transformed Tigers’ fortunes since taking over from previous coach Ian Millward part-way through the 2013 season.
The 51-year-old took Castleford to Wembley in 2014, when they lost to Leeds in their first Challenge Cup final for 22 years.
They finished fourth in Super League that year – after going into the final round with a chance of topping the table – and fifth in each of the past two seasons.
Powell – a former Championship and Super League coach of the year – revealed he was keen to resolve his status at the Jungle.
He said: “Although I signed a five-year contract a few years ago there was a get-out clause at the end of next season which both the club and myself wanted to get rid of.
“I believe we are on the cusp of a very special period at Castleford and I want to be right at the heart of achieving something special with the group of players we have at the club at the moment.”
Powell added: “Right from the top of the club, starting with Ian Fulton, working all the way through the management, the coaching staff and down to the players we have special people working hard to achieve great times in Super League.
“We certainly have a lot of hard work in front of us and although some of our mentality has to change I believe we have everything in place to consistently challenge towards the top end of Super League.
“I’m delighted to extend my contract to hopefully play a major part in a special time in this great club’s future.”
Tigers chief executive Steve Gill said: “On behalf of Ian Fulton and the board of directors I am pleased to announce that our head coach Daryl Powell has agreed a new four-year deal with the Castleford Tigers.
“Daryl has been very instrumental in the progress of our club in the past few years and the reward of a new four-year contract reflects the trust and belief we have in him to bring silverware back to our great club.”
Powell represented England and Great Britain during a playing career with Sheffield Eagles, Keighley and Leeds, which also included a spell in Australia.
He hung up his boots at the end of the 2001 season and was appointed coach of the Rhinos early the following year.
He left Rhinos after the 2003 campaign and had a stint in rugby union with Leeds Tykes before returning to rugby league in 2008.
A successful spell at Post Office Road included three successive league leaders’ shields, a Championship Grand Final win in 2011 and a famous Challenge Cup victory over Castleford the following year.
Tigers missed out on the play-offs for the second successive year in 2016, but Powell was hailed for their style of play and performances in the face of a massive injury crisis.