Castleford captain Michael Shenton has stated that re-signing with the Tigers for another three years was the easiest choice he’s had to make in his sporting career.
The England international has agreed to a three-year contract extension, which ties him to the Tigers until the end of the 2019 season.
“It was pretty much the easiest decision I’ve made in rugby league since I started really,” Shenton said.
“I loved playing again, I love being part of the team. It’s such a great set of lads as well and coming back in and seeing them working so hard, it’s exciting.
The ambition of the boys this year, you can just see, there’s a feeling coming off them this year.
“You can feel this is the place to be.”
With the rise of the team under the coaching of Daryl Powell in the past two seasons and a new stadium in the works, Shenton believes Castleford has some momentum behind it.
The Tigers reached the Challenge Cup final in 2014 and finished fifth in the season just finished.
“It’s the ambition of the club off the field as well,” he said.
“It’s pretty exciting for the club moving forward. It’s a good place to be, I enjoying coming here, I enjoy coming here every day.
“It’s an enjoyable place to play. The fans, the crowd. It’s a great atmosphere down there, they’re very passionate and the town’s passionate.
“We’ve got the right people in the right positions. I’m just really excited about the new season.
Shenton joined Castleford as a teenager and made his debut for the club in 2004. The centre has spent his whole career at the Jungle apart from two seasons at St Helens.
In total Shenton has racked more than 240 appearances and 120 tries for the Black and Amber.
The new deal could see the 29-year old eventually finish his career with the Tigers.
“You never know, but it’s nice to have long-term security there now and it just means I can focus on my rugby,” Shenton admitted.
“That helped me in the last deal as well. It means I’ve got four years of security now and I can just focus on that and role developing as a captain and as a person.
“Daryl’s big on that – growing as a person and helping out with the team with the young boys coming through which is a big part of the club as well now.
“We’ve got Ryan Sheridan underneath sorting the Academy out and some young lads coming through that are at a really important stage of their career.
“With myself, Andy Lynch and others we’ve got a real good leadership group and youngsters coming through to replace us eventually.
“A big part for us is that when they come into the first team they know what the standards are so we’re competing at the highest level.”
Shenton scored 14 tries and set up 11 in 27 matches in 2015. He believes he could be coming into the prime years of his career.
“I feel great now,” the outside back said.
“I do think I’ve developed even more as a player over the last couple of years even more but I’m still learning.
“Being experienced, that helps me. It helps the boys on the field and my decision-making as a captain, I think that’s massive.
“I’m still developing that kind of role but am really enjoying it as well.
“It brings the best out of me. Hopefully I’ll keep getting better and this can be the best year I’ve had yet.”