Monaghan says Castleford Tigers can end trophy drought

WELCOME ABOARD: Joel Monaghan with Castleford chairman Ian Fulton.
WELCOME ABOARD: Joel Monaghan with Castleford chairman Ian Fulton.
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Star signing Joel Monaghan insists he has swapped one title-challenging team for another.

The Australian former Test winger joined Castleford Tigers from Warrington Wolves in the off-season on a two-year deal and is adamant he has joined a club “on the up”.

“There’s a big difference from when I came to England five years ago to now,” Monaghan said of his new surroundings.

“Not just the team; the club and the organisation and the resources they put into it. They were in the Challenge Cup final two years ago and on the doorstep of the top-four last year.

“It is definitely a club on the up and hopefully I can add to that.”

Monaghan, who scored 125 tries in 127 Super League games for Warrington, reckons Tigers are ready to win a major trophy for the first time in the summer era.

He added: “There was a big turnover from a couple of years ago to last year and they were still up there, on the edge of the top-four.

“To have a settled squad now is good. You can see the combinations in training, with the blokes who have been here a while.

“It is a skilful team, with only a few new blokes who will have to try and settle in and add something to that.”

Tigers lost their opening three games last year, which ultimately cost them a place in the semi-finals.

They kick-off away to Hull KR on Sunday and Monaghan said: “When it was top-eight play-offs you could afford a poor start, but those days are gone.

“You want to be starting off on the front foot, rather than chasing your tail. We’ve been doing everything we can at training to make sure that doesn’t happen.

“The top-four has got to be our minimum goal and if we go out and do our job it is something we can definitely achieve.”

The 33-year-old has effectively replaced Justin Carney in Tigers’ squad and will give coach Daryl Powell lethal strike power on one flank.

And he said he has been impressed with what he has seen so far of Cas’ other winger, Denny Solomona.

“He is on fire,” Monaghan – who can also play at centre – said of the former London Broncos man. “He has got some skill and he is only young.

“Across the whole squad now there’s some dangers and hopefully we can put it all together.”

On a personal level, Monaghan is relishing a new challenge.

“It has been good,” he said of the move from Cheshire to West Yorkshire. “I had an extra week or two back home in Australia, then came back and straight into it with the boys.

“I’ve really enjoyed the training and getting to know the boys. I am living in Leeds at the moment with a mate from Australia so it’s a change for me, but I’m really enjoying it.

“I am the type of person who needs to meet new people.

“Coming into a squad of 25 new blokes is something I’ve quite enjoyed.

“It was time for a change, everyone moves on and I am just looking forward to settling in at a new club.”

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