YOUNG HALF-BACK Jake Trueman has been a breath of fresh air during Castleford Tigers’ pre-season, according to captain Michael Shenton.
Trueman has made the most of an opportunity to show what he can do in training – particularly while Man of Steel Luke Gale was away due to England duty – and Shenton joked the 18-year-old’s involvement makes a refreshing change.
“While the international guys were away it’s great that some of the younger guys have come in and had a real good look at it, especially someone like Jake Trueman who everyone is excited about and rightly so,” Shenton said.
“He has had a really good pre-season. Just to fill in while Luke’s been away, he has been great.
“Luke’s quite hot headed so we’ve had a bit of a breather from him as well! Jake is pretty chilled out and placid.
“It’s great to see the young guys coming through and it’s important that some of the guys have had a look at some of these important positions because you never know what adversity you are going to face in a season.”
Trueman played three senior games last year and scored a first half hat-trick on his debut in a win away to Wigan Warriors.
“Jake got thrown in late last year and did a great job, probably the best debut I’ve ever seen,” Shenton added.
“That will help us in the year, that the young boys have been given a chance in training, but for now it’s great the international boys are back and you can see it’s starting to come together.”
Tigers are currently on a warm weather training camp in Lanzarote. Of preparations so far, Shenton said: “Pre-season has been good.
“It has been tough as pre-seasons always are and we’ve had some nice early starts at 7.30 at Cas High School.
“But it has put us in really good stead, we’ve got a lot of work under our belts in a short space of time and now we’re starting to reap a few of the rewards.
“We’re in a quite good place and it’s nice getting our international boys back in. Luke Gale, Mike McMeeken and Ben Roberts have come back in now and you can see bits where they slot in and we can highlight areas we need to work on.”