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Daryl Powell pens open letter to Castleford fans amidst exit

This club will always be special to me.

When I first arrived Jack Fulton owned the club and was so passionate about Cas. When Jack and Bridie sadly passed away, Ian then took over and he’s a great guy. People have worked so hard to take the club to where it is and there are some awesome people working at this place, I would like to wish them all the best for the future.

I think the brand of rugby that we have played has been ‘Classy Cas’, Barry Johnson said to me we were the third coming of Classy Cas and that made me proud of the team. The bar got raised so massively after 2017 and what was expected of us as a team, we continued to strive for our very best every season without quite matching that level. I am proud that we have been consistently pushing for the play-offs, being in the play-offs, in finals, and winning the League Leaders’ Shield which is the first time that Castleford has finished top of the table in their history. Finishing top for the first time ever was a key highlight for me.

I am so proud that we have been able to put the club in such a great position. Consistently in play-offs and of course in finals too. I am obviously disappointed that we couldn’t win those games, that is the jeopardy when you get to those big games when you come up against teams who are just as motivated as you and equally as passionate. But our players have been awesome, and we got ourselves into the big games with opportunities to win the big prize and we just haven’t quite been good enough.

It takes massive efforts to get into finals, so whilst we are disappointed, I think we have to be recognised for what we have done. We have been prime challengers pretty much every single year and I am proud for everyone who has been at the club during my time that we were able to do that.

The culture of the club is really important to me. People don’t always know what it means, but I’m working with 30 plus blokes here, and a lot of them have egos and opinions. Forming a team and a way of behaving that everybody can be proud of sets standards for the way you go about your work on and off the field.

That has been the start point for me, the culture, and the way that to do things, which then generates the belief that you can achieve whatever you want. We have been greater than the sum of our parts and feared no one. What we can be really proud of is that the players that have come to the club, end up being better players and I think better people as well. If you can do that as a coaching staff and as a playing group then its special, that happens because you have leaders in there, who drive those standards and that culture. If you get that right, then all those great things can happen.

I’ll always be the person I am, one that works hard to do the very best that I can for whatever team I am coaching, I have tried so hard to give the fans what wanted here at Cas. Initially, fans just wanted the team to work hard, I believe our boys have always respected the fans and the history of the club by working exceptionally hard.

Every time I’ve walked across the field the fans have been sensational. There was a little bit of a tough period when I said that I was leaving for Warrington, but I did that for the right reasons because I wanted to give the club the very best chance to get the right person in charge. I think they have done that with Lee Radford, he is a great fella, he’s got a big beaming smile so he might be a little bit different to me on a game day.

I am disappointed that we couldn’t finish off in a positive way for so many people, for people like Shenny and Millo who are retiring, and the other guys who are leaving the club. It wasn’t to be, but I can guarantee it was not a lack of focus or effort.

However, it is now a new chapter for me and the club. I would like to thank everybody and wish Castleford Tigers great success in the future.

See you all next season,


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