Matterson excited by Tigers squad

Terry Matterson has announced Castleford’s squad numbers for the 2011 season, hailing the depth of talent at his disposal.

The Tigers head coach believes that the club has recruited well and he revealed that he expects a much improved showing from his team this season.

“All the players in the 25 have played first grade and that’s something we’ve never really had before. That’s a real positive going into the season,” he said.

“We feel we’re in really good shape to improve on what we have done over the past couple of seasons.

“We know that that others clubs have also improved, but it’s really important that we get better. I feel that we have improved considerably.

“We’ve made so many good signings this year and I think it states our intention that we’re looking to go up the table”.

A number of youngsters feature prominently in the squad with Joe Arundel, Jonny Walker and Adam Milner being given the number 4, 15 and 16 shirts respectively.

“The number 4 shirt was a tough decision with Jordan Thompson also pushing hard,” said Matterson.

“Joe stepped in last year and I thought he did a really good job in the centres. He’s had a great off-season and he’s in really good shape, so he’s just edged it”.

Jonny Walker seems to have gone from strength to strength and has been working hard in the closed season with Nick Fozzard, who is proving a real good mentor for him.

“Adam put his nose in the first team last year and I think he showed that he’s going to be a very good player in the future.

“He’s come back a much more mature player from captaining England Academy, had a wonderful off-season, and I think he’s going to get plenty of first team footy this year”.

New signing Richie Mathers had been handed the number 1 jersey, worn by Richard Owen in 2010, and the Tigers boss confirmed he would start the season as the club’s first choice full back.

Owen is currently working his way back to full fitness after breaking his leg last season and will wear the number 5 shirt vacated by Michael Wainwright. Matterson is keen to point out that the youngster remains an important part of his plans.

“I’ve made no secret of the fact that Richie Mathers is going to be my first choice full back. Part of that is down to Richie Owen not being available for the start of the season,” he said.

“The important thing for him is to get as close as possible to where he was before and we’re certainly not going to be putting undue pressure on him to do that.

“I felt his form up until he got injured last year was great so that’s the reason he’s been given a single-digit squad number”.

The squad features seven new faces, including Mathers, with Nick Youngquest and the returning Danny Orr wearing numbers 3 and 7 respectively.

Jacob Emmitt, Nick Fozzard and Martin Aspinwall have been given numbers 11, 19 and 20 while Willie Isa, who joins from Melbourne, will wear number 17.

The club have dedicated the number 18 shirt to the loyal Tigers supporters.

Squad: 1 Richie Mathers, 2 Kirk Dixon, 3 Nick Youngquest, 4 Joe Arundel, 5 Richard Owen, 6 Rangi Chase, 7 Danny Orr, 8 Paul Jackson, 9 Ryan Hudson, 10 Craig Huby, 11 Jacob Emmitt, 12 Steve Snitch, 13 Brett Ferres, 14 Stuart Jones, 15 Jonathon Walker, 16 Adam Milner, 17 Willie Isa, 18 Cas Fan, 19 Nick Fozzard, 20 Martin Aspinwall, 21 Nathan Massey, 22 Jordan Thompson, 23 Ryan McGoldrick, 24 Oliver Holmes, 25 Dean Widders, 26 John Davies

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