SURPRISE SIGNING Liam Finn has backed himself to make the grade for Castleford Tigers in Super League.
Finn was snapped up by Tigers after Featherstone Rovers released him last week and immediately quit his full-time job as an electrician.
It is a gamble for a player who turned 30 last month and previously had a taste of the English game’s top division a decade ago.
But Finn has arguably been the best player outside Super League for the past four years – when Rovers topped the Championship table on each occasion – and is determined to do everything possible to make a success of the step up.
“I am going to give it a go,” said Finn, who also captained Ireland in the recent World Cup and was set to feature for Tigers against Halifax in Craig Huby’s testimonial game today.
“Being an electrician is not like being a teacher or something where you have to go through a long interview process to get another job.
“It should not be too much of a problem to get back into it if I need to, I hope.
“I have got to back myself and the big thing for me when (Tigers coach) Daryl Powell offered me the opportunity was would I look back in 10 or 15 years’ time and think I should have had a go?
“If bad luck strikes and I don’t get a go, or I am not good enough or I last one game or 100 games, there will be no regrets – it won’t be down to me not having the bottle to give it a go.”
Finn made 16 starts and five substitute appearances in Super League for his hometown club Halifax during the 2002 and 2003 seasons.
The following year he appeared just twice for Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, once in the starting team, before spells in the lower divisions with Dewsbury Rams and Featherstone.
“I am really pleased,” he said of his second opportunity.
“At my sort of age you don’t think you are going to move up a league to get a chance – which is all it is at the moment.
“It is an opportunity and one I want to take, but I don’t want to get too excited about it until I get some Super League games under my belt.
“I would like to think I am a better player now than last time. I have got a bit more experience and a better outlook on what it takes to be a professional player.”
Finn had great success at Rovers under Powell’s coaching and admitted that was a key factor.
“Somebody asked me about working with him a few days ago and I said it should be good, because I know what he expects from me and what I’ll get from him.
“Jokingly I said he probably wants a lot more now he is in Super League – and he has just said that to me!
“I am certainly not going to be thinking ‘do what I did at Featherstone and I’ll be all right’. It needs to be a lot more.”
New boss John Bastian is planning to alter Rovers’ style of play next season, but Finn had been prepared to stay and fight for a place before Tigers came in for him.
“I had a great four years there,” he said of his former club. “I really enjoyed it and met some great people.
“We had a fair bit of success and it was tough to leave, but I knew it was coming to an end.
“I will look back with really fond memories of it as a strong part of my career.
“And feel I played some good rugby there.”