Andy Last’s first words following Castleford Tigers appointment

Josh McAllister
Scott Murrell and Andy Last, SWPix

Scott Murrell celebrates a Castleford Tigers victory with head coach Andy Last

Andy Last believes he is ready to take the step up after being appointed Castleford’s new permanent head coach on a two-and-a-half-year deal. 

The current England assistant has been in the role as interim boss since the departure of Lee Radford, and has recorded two wins in six since taking charge in March.

He initially joined the Mend-A-Hose Jungle outfit as assistant coach in 2022 under Radford, and the 42-year-old believes he is ready to take the step up in his coaching career.

“I am absolutely over the moon,” Last said. 

“I have been waiting for an opportunity as a head coach for a number of years now and I feel as though I have served my apprenticeship working alongside some outstanding coaches whom I have learned a great deal from.

“I’m looking forward to putting my mark on Castleford over the next two and a half years. 

“It’s a very honest and hardworking club which is steeped in a rich history, and you look at the players who have represented Castleford Tigers over the years, there have been some fantastic players who have worn the shirt.

“I’m looking forward to influencing the current group of players that we have and putting my stamp on things moving forward.”

Andy Last: I want us to be more creative

The Tigers currently sit 10th on the Super League table above Wakefield and Hull, but have one of the worst attacking records of the season so far.

Castleford, boasting the half-back pairing of Gareth Widdop and Jacob Miller, have managed just 96 points so far this season, with Wakefield recording the worst attack with 47.

Last wants the side to return to their old, entertaining ways of ‘classy Cas’.

“I want us to be more creative and I want us to be playing with more shape,” Last continued.

“We want to really encourage the players to support the ball carrier and I want us to be moving the ball quickly east to west with strike plays on the edges.

“We have got some creative players at the moment, but we just need to implement a couple of tweaks and adjustments to get us playing the way we want to play. We want to make sure we entertain and be brave enough to find that pass or offload. I think defensively over the last three or four weeks we have been showing a better desire to stop the opposition from scoring.

“The players are working hard on a day-to-day basis”

“What we need to do is try and find that energy and enthusiasm when we’ve got the ball and to make a little more of it when we are attacking.

“The fans are very passionate and expect a certain style of play and we know there have been frustrations at times, but they keep supporting the team.

“The players are working hard on a day-to-day basis and I’m sure if we all continue working hard and being united then we will start to win more games than we lose.

“We will then start to get that atmosphere that is second to none at The Jungle and what we love playing in front of.

“There’s nothing better than that and we look forward to playing in front of it again on Friday night against Hull KR.”

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