Powell sets top four goal for Castleford

Castleford coach Daryl Powell has set the Tigers the target of breaking into the top four monopoly of clubs that has dominated Super League in recent years.

Powell has also revealed that he has finished his recruitment for the new season.

Leeds took out the grand final this year, while St Helens were victors in 2014 and Wigan winners in 2013.

Two of those four clubs, along with Warrington, have featured in every grand final since 2006 when Saints defeated Hull FC.

Castleford have been on amazing run since Powell took over in May 2013. The Tigers have reached a Challenge Cup final and finished fourth in 2014 and fifth this season.

Powell wants to go one better next year.

“Hopefully it’s the start of a great future for the Castleford Tigers,” he said.

“I certainly am getting a great feeling at the way that the players are working and the group that we’ve got together.

“I don’t see any reason why we can’t be seen as one of the top four clubs in the competition.

“That’s a big challenge but something we should be aiming for.”

Powell believes Castleford is in good shape, on and off the field, and now is the time to add some silverware.

“The future’s bright,” the 50-year old said.

“The new stadium’s on the horizon. The future of the club has probably never been in a better position.

“To cap that off is to go out and win something. I think that’s the next step for us.

“It’s a tough challenge but one that’s there to be faced, and I think the squad that we’ve got together is ready to do that.”

The Tigers have brought in Ben Crooks, Joel Monaghan, Greg Minkin, Ryan Hampshire and Jy Hitchcox for the new campaign.

Liam Finn, Scott Moore and Ashley Gibson have all gone to Wakefeld, while Justin Carney has joined Salford on loan and Ryan Bailey has signed with Warrington.

Many expected Castleford to struggle in 2015, with the loss of Man of Steel Daryl Clark and several other key players, but the club impressed with a strong season yet again.

“I think we’ve showed 2014 wasn’t a one-off,” Powell said.

“2015 we were pretty strong, not quite where we wanted to be but we’ve got a great chance now to kick on.

“The players that have bedded in and improved, like last year, it will all really help us to go after teams in 2016.

“I think we’ve got as good a chance as anybody at having a pop at all the competitions.”

Castleford has 30 players in its first-team squad and Powell said he won’t be signing any more.

“We’re pretty much finished,” he said.

“We signed Jy Hitchcox as a utility outside back and he gives us competition for places there.

“Some of the young kids are training the house down.

“I want to be able to give those young players an opportunity so we won’t be signing anyone.

“The squad’s deep, it’s strong. There’s some really young, vibrant players across all positions.

“I’m confident, really confident that we’ve got what it takes.”

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