Shenton ready for Super League’s new challenges

Castleford skipper Michael Shenton is keen to get stuck back into action, when Super League begins for his club on Sunday.

The Tigers welcome local rivals Wakefield to the Mend-a-Hose Jungle, with the new league restructure meaning that the pressure is on every team to perform from the very start.

“It’s always nice to finally get playing again, and get back in to it,” Shenton said.

“Preseason has not been too bad. I’m pretty pumped to be getting back out there and kicking on.

“There’d be pressure no matter what, because of the new format of the league, and obviously if you’re not in and around the top eight and not performing, then the pressure’s really on, because every game matters.

“In the past it’s not been so important, but straight from the kick-off now you’ve got to be firing, and thats a big ask for us to get new players up and firing straight away.”

Shenton acknowledges that his team’s opening fixtures present plenty of challenges, especially when there have been some signigicant changes in personnel at Cas.

“We’ve got Wakefield at home and they always come ready to go,” he added.

“Then we’re away to Catalans who are going to be fighting for a top four spot with the signings they’ve made.

“Then we’re away to St Helens and Wigan, so it’s a tough ask for us. But wouldn’t have it any other way.”

The player churn at the Tigers has meant that some key men have departed. Shenton is confident that the club’s new recruits can perform to the standards set last season, however.

“In any team sport people move on, especially in rugby league,” he said.

“New signings come in every year. It’s not ideal had to make so many, but the guys who’ve come in have come in and been positive.

“We’ve set the standards over the past couple of years, but it takes a bit of time to bed in and get ready to go in the way we want to play.”

One real asset for Castleford is coach Daryl Powell, a man whom Shenton rates very highly indeed.

“He’s been really good for us, just way he goes about his business really is quality,” said the England centre.

“He’s helped my game as well and I’m really happy we’ve got him.”

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