Teenage forward Brandon Douglas has been rewarded for his efforts in 2016 with a two-year contract extension with Castleford Tigers.
The new deal will see Douglas move up from the academy to the full-time first-team set up. The 19-year-old recently made his first-team debut against St Helens where he earned the Tigers fans’ man of the match vote.
The prop forward was drafted into the first team after a string of injuries marred Cas’ season and took his opportunity to impress. Douglas joined the Tigers from Bradford Bulls’ scholarship in 2013 and has gone on to progress through the Castleford Academy ranks.
Douglas said: “I am looking forward to taking the step into a full-time environment with Castleford Tigers. I have spent the last three years in the Castleford academy system, which I have really enjoyed. With great support from the academy coaching and strength and conditioning team, I have developed as a player and I feel ready for a tough, honest pre-season! Castleford Tigers is a fantastic rugby club with amazing supporters. I was humbled by the support from the fans following my debut against St Helens and I’m looking forward to my future with Castleford Tigers.”
Tigers head of youth Pete Riding is pleased to see Douglas make the progression in o the first team: “I am absolutely thrilled that we have been able to sign Brandon on a two year full-time deal. This follows a great year of academy football in which Brandon also made his first-team debut.
“It’s very difficult for props to emerge at such a young age, this two-year full-time deal will give Brandon time to continue to learn and develop.
“This signing is yet another example of our academy system producing players progressing into the first-team environment and speaks volumes for the provision that our coaching staff are providing for our aspiring young players.”
Tigers head coach Daryl Powell has also been impressed with Brandon’s skill. He said: “Brandon showed in his one appearance last season that he is a player for the future who has no fear of any reputation.
“He was a stand-out performer in the under 19s competition last season and I have no doubt that a full pre-season under his belt will see him develop and grow into a tremendous front rower.”