Jake Mamo may have lost his number four shirt for this season, but he still has a lot to offer in 2023, according to Castleford coach Lee Radford.
The 28-year-old missed out on a first team shirt following an underwhelming 2022, though Radford has backed the player to have an impact in the forthcoming season.
Mamo was handed the number 21 jersey for the upcoming campaign – a sizeable demotion from the number four shirt he wore last season.
In a recent interview with BBC Radio Leeds, the Australian accepted the decision and was self-critical saying he ‘didn’t perform too well last year’.
The player featured in Castleford’s 48-10 pre-season victory over Huddersfield on Sunday and enjoyed a solid outing on the wing.
When asked about Mamo’s mindset ahead of the new season, Radford joked: “If you can find that out, can you let me know?”
Lee Radford on Jake Mamo: When he’s on, he’s on
The Tigers boss then added: “First and foremost he’s a good kid, a good person. You can’t help but like the kid. He’s a little bit different in terms of how he is off the field. But the boys really like him and I really like him.
“He’s challenging to coach, but he’s such a good person. When he’s on, he’s on. We’ve just got to try and cut that performance of where he’s at his absolute best to the one where he is way off and find the middle ground in that.
“If we can do that, I think he’s got a big part for us to play this year. I’ve seen the interview and he will bring something to Castleford Tigers in 2023, I’m sure.”
Tributes paid to testimonial man Nathan Massey
Castleford’s win over Huddersfield on Sunday was in the testimonial match of Nathan Massey, who is celebrating 10 years of being a Tiger.
Radford paid tribute to Massey after the game: “He epitomises the club in a way. He maximises his abilities every day because of how he trains and how he is around the place.
“You see so many players with more talent than that who probably don’t quite reach the level they should get to in their career. But I don’t think you could ever throw that at him.
“He makes the best of every situation he is in because of how hard he tries; and his effort that he produces every week.”
Huddersfield coach Ian Watson also praised Massey, saying he is the ultimate professional.
Watson said: “When you talk about old school middles, he’s one of them. He works his socks off, works really hard. Doesn’t rely on his talent, uses his work ethic to impact others around him.
“I think he makes the Castleford team better because he’s willing to mop up some of the areas what some of the guys are not doing. He’s had a great career.
“He’s been a model pro in terms of what he’s done for Castleford over the last 10 years. He deserves all the credit he’s got.”
Castleford get their Super League campaign underway at Hull on February 19.