INSPIRATIONAL COACH Daryl Powell has given Castleford Tigers a huge lift ahead of tonight’s trip to Wigan Warriors – by signing a long-term contract.
Powell, who had a season left on his existing deal, has agreed new and upgraded terms, keeping him at the club until the end of 2019.
The 48-year-old ex-Leeds Rhinos boss joined Tigers 13 months ago after a highly successful spell in charge of Championship outfit Featherstone Rovers.
He has transformed Tigers’ fortunes and they are currently third in First Utility Super League and through to August’s semi-finals of the Tetley’s Challenge Cup. Confirming his new contract, Powell said: “The Castleford club is something I am really passionate about. For the club to have the faith in me that I can take them forward for the next five years is pretty special. I am delighted with that.”
Powell’s aim over the next five and a half seasons is to make Castleford “one of the top clubs” in the country. He added: “That is the journey we are on. We need to be one of the teams challenging for honours in both competitions.
“We have had a great start and in terms of the future it is about continuing that culture we have got in place and continually striving to be better in everything we do.”
Chief executive Steve Gill described Powell’s new deal as “massive for the club”.
He said: “It is something I have been working at for quite a while.
“Daryl has created a culture at the club we haven’t had before. It makes it a lot easier to attract players, because we have got a great coach.”
Meanwhile, Tigers return to DW Stadium tonight aiming for their second win over Wigan Warriors inside a week following the 16-4 success in the quarter-finals of the Tetley’s Challenge Cup last Saturday.
“You learn bits about a team every time you play them, so it will be interesting to see what they throw at us and what we throw at them,” Powell said.
“We will find out which team has learned the most valuable lessons.”
Powell will rest James Webster, Daryl Clark and Andy Lynch tonight, with Justin Carney available after suspension, Nathan Massey in contention following injury and Adam Milner, Ashley Gibson and Ben Reynolds hoping for a call-up.
Wigan Warriors: from Bowen, Manfredi, Sarginson, Gelling, Burgess, Williams, Smith, Flower, McIlorum, Dudson, L Farrell, Bateman, O’Loughlin, Crosby, Hampshire, Goulding, James, Powell, Taylor.
Castleford Tigers: from Dorn, Dixon, Shenton, Carney, Clare, Sneyd, Finn, Jewitt, Milner, Huby, Holmes, Hauraki, Wheeldon, Millington, Mariano, Ellis, Massey, Gibson, Reynolds.
Referee: Phil Bentham (Warrington).
Kick-off: Tonight, 8pm.