Championship coach leaves club ready for Super League gig

There is a lot of change taking place at clubs like Leeds Rhinos, Hull FC and Castleford Tigers.

The Tigers are perhaps are bound for the most change it would seem with a new coach coming as well as plenty of new players.

But could that coach be Craig Lingard? He has already joined the Tigers as assistant and has now officially left Batley Bulldogs.

He would make a very smart appointment as Head Coach it has to be said with the club considering alternatives like Danny McGuire but Lingard is already at the club and could do a terrific job.

He has also been at the club during recruitment which helps especially with a number of major signings such as Sylvester Namo.

Namo hails from Mount Hagen in Papua New Guinea and is joining the club having been a representative for the PNG team at the World Cup, in which he played on three occasions. He joined the North Queensland Cowboys on a train and replacement contract for the 2023 season.

Namo will link up with his new teammates in November when they return for pre-season training.

In an interview with, Sylvester spoke of his excitement to be joining Castleford and to be playing in the Super League in 2024.

“I’m really excited, I can’t wait to make the most out of it and give my best to the club I’m a little bit nervous to be travelling alone compared to the World Cup when I came with a full squad but it’s going to be a great moment for me going overseas to play in England especially playing at Castleford Tigers.”

“We have a few PNG boys who will be good together. Liam Horne was telling me that the fans here are crazy and I can’t wait to come and meet them. I’ll be going onto the field to run hard, tackle hard and do my job”.

He is one of a number of major signings with Elie El-Zakhem also joining the club on a two-year deal.

Elie will be joining the Fords from Australian side, North Sydney Bears, who reached the NSW Cup final in 2023. The Bears are the feeder club for the Sydney Roosters in the NRL.

El-Zakim represented Lebanon and scored in the World Cup last year and so far has represented his national side on 5 occasions.

Elie spoke to ahead of the announcement and the Lebanese international cannot wait to get started.

“I’m pretty keen to get over to the UK! When I got the offer, I was pretty excited and tried getting it done straight away. It’ll be pretty good to showcase my talent in the Super League.”

“I’ve heard from players I know over there and it’s good things I’m hearing I’m good friends with Jordan Rankin and he’s given me a bit of a rundown; he told me its good and I’ve heard a lot of good things from him.”

“I’ve been playing since under 7’s my brother signed me up for the local footy comp, I never wanted to play professionally to begin with but just fell in love with it and I’ve been playing at representative level since around age 16 and then reserve grade for the past 5 years or so.”

“I’ve spoken to the club I should be flying mid-November to start pre-season. I’ll be coming over alone so I’m a bit anxious but I’m excited at the same time to get started.”

“I’m good friends with Charbel Tasipale so it’ll be good to have him there to help me settle in.”