CASTLEFORD TIGERS ace Paul McShane is doubling up in his bid for Grand Final glory.
The former Leeds Rhinos and Wakefield Trinity hooker is pivotal to Castleford Tigers’ hopes of reaching Old Trafford on October 13 and winning the Betfred Super League title for the first time.
But he is also coach of Hunslet Club Parkside who topped the National Conference Premier Division table after winning all their 22 regular-season games and begin their play-off campaign with a home semi-final against West Hull on Saturday.
Tigers fell at the last hurdle last year after winning the league by 10 points so McShane – whose amateur team were 14 points clear of their nearest rivals – is taking nothing for granted.
“We’ve got a really tough tie this weekend,” he said.
“We’ve had two close games against West Hull so hopefully we can be focused enough to get the job done.”
Parkside are one of this country’s most dominant teams at any level of rugbny league, having gone through all the Conference divisions as champions in successive seasons.
“I have got a lot of enjoyment out of coaching and seeing my mates doing so well,” said McShane, who will be on duty for Tigers at home to Wakefield in the Super-8s on Friday.
“It is really good to be a part of it – and after being in the [Super League] Grand Final last year I definitely want to get back there again.”
The Conference final will be held at Featherstone Rovers’ LD Nutrition Stadium, Post Office Road, on Saturday, October 6, along with the Division One promotion decider.
McShane said: “It’s a bit of a home comfort.
“We’ve played some big games there, but in the NCL anything can happen, especially in knockout games.
“West Hull are playing really well now and you can never write-off teams like Thatto Heath.
“We know we’ve got to stay focused, but it’s not even the coaches who are driving that, it’s the players.
“That’s another good thing, the boys take a lot of responsibility.
“They know what they want and what they expect from each other and I think that’s why they are so successful at the minute.”