Castleford Tigers: Loan move gives Cas pair more game time

Will Maher
Will Maher
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Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell hopes youngsters Will Maher and Tom Holmes will benefit as much as Greg Minkin did when they head out on a season-long loan to Batley Bulldogs in 2017.

The aspiring duo will feature with the Championship club, who stunned everyone by reaching the Qualifiers this term, and look to get much-needed game-time under their belts.

Centre Minikin, 21, did just that this time around, scoring four tries in seven games for Batley having joined from York City Knights, before returning to impress in Super League at Wheldon Road.

Prop Maher and half-back Holmes, both still just 20, will head to Mount Pleasant but Castleford do have a call-back option should injuries occur.

Powell coached new Batley boss Matt Diskin as a player earlier in his career when in charge at Leeds Rhinos.

He said: “On the back of last season I’m pleased to say we have a relationship with Batley Bulldogs again which enabled Greg Minikin to do such a great job when he came back into our first-team last season.

“This season Tom Holmes and Will Maher will be playing with Batley on a full-season loan.

“Both of these players have Super League experience and I’m confident both Batley and the players will benefit greatly from this deal.

“I know Batley’s head coach Matt Diskin personally and know the players will receive outstanding coaching within Batley’s environment while still working full-time with our staff.”

Cumbrian front-row Maher impressed with Castleford this term, making 15 outings as he seized his chance with the likes of Andy Lynch out injured.

Local product Holmes, meanwhile, played seven games for Castleford in 2015, showing some real flair at times, and also made seven appearances for Oxford in League 1.

Tigers chief executive Steve Gill added: “We are very happy to continue our dual-registered partnership with the Batley Bulldogs for the 2017 season.

“Batley are a great club that share a lot of our values.

“Playing at this level week in week out will no doubt help both Tom and Will in their development, and I’m sure they will represent Castleford Tigers at the highest standard.”

As Batley look to build on their exploits of this term, chief executive Paul Harrison said: “When players come to Batley we want them to feel part of our squad and our club and so a season-long deal is fantastic for us. We’re confident Will and Tom will make a huge impact here and we’ll do everything we can to assist Castleford in their development.”