I'm here to win trophies says Castleford Tigers signing Gareth Widdop
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The 33-year-old stand-off has signed a two-year contract and insisted: “I want to bring success to the club.”
Widdop, an NRL Grand Final and World Club Challenge winner with Melbourne Storm, said: “It’s the reason we play the game, to win trophies and play in the big games.
“I’ve still got the fire inside me to do that. I’m coming to the back end of my career now and when this opportunity popped up at Cas with the players in this team and the great coaching staff, there’s no reason why not.
“It takes a lot of hard work along the way and I’ve still got aspirations to lift some silverware. We want to be winners and it’s what we are striving for.”
Widdop, was born in Halifax, but emigrated with his family to Australia as a teenager and played in the NRL for Melbourne and St George-Illawarra Dragons before joining Warrington Wolves in 2020.
“I’m really excited to extend my career for another couple of seasons at such a great club,” Widdop added.
“It means a lot, they’ve put faith in me and hopefully, I can bring a lot of experience from my career.
“A lot of my mates and some of my family are big Cas fans and it’s great to be back in Yorkshire and closer to home. I really can’t wait to get started.”
The prospect of playing under coach Lee Radford was a key factor in his decision to join Tigers, according to Widdop.
“I spoke to Radders a couple of times and he threw it out there about the potential of moving to Castleford,” he said.
“I know a few of the players, who I’ve played alongside in Australia and the UK as well and they said what a great coach he is.
“I’m looking forward to working with him. It’s a great squad, a great roster, they’re heading in the right direction and I really want to be a part of that.
“I want to get back to playing some really good football. Unfortunately I’ve had a couple of injuries this year and as a team Warrington struggled a bit, but I’m ready and raring to go now.”
Radford is excited about what Widdop will add to Tigers.
“What Gareth has achieved in the game has been phenomenal and the experience he brings is huge,” Radford said.
“The stage he is at in his career, I think Castleford will be a really good environment for him and I think he will be good around it for everyone else too.
“Everybody I’ve spoken to has said what a great bloke he is, what a competitor he is, and you don’t do what he has done in the game by fluke.
“He is going to be a great player and a great addition for us, I think.”
Widdop will partner another new signing, Jacob Miller, in the halves next season.
Radford said: “They are looking forward to playing together and so am I. I think they will bring the best out of each other; two senior blokes, one plays on a little bit more instinct, but the other’s strengths are his organisational skills and, hopefully, they will complement each other.
“I want them to come in and help improve the place, the environment we are making. They both have the ability to do that, not only because of their talents, but what they are as people off the field.”