Tyler Cassel will be in his third season with the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles when the season starts next month.
We discussed the pre-season, Steven Hales as coach, Grant Mitchell who is the Head of Rugby League Operations and a few other things.
TS – Tyler what does it mean to you to be the longest serving player at Blacktown in the clubs short history since Tom Amone has signed with South Sydney?
TC – It’s a bit surreal to be honest. To be as young as I am and to be known as one of the senior players in the squad and to be looked up to is an honor. I really enjoy being at Blacktown, the club has been really good to me and if I get a chance to play first grade I’ll never forget what Blacktown has done for me. I’m really happy for Tommy (Tom Amone) that he will be having his opportunity to play NRL. It shows what we are doing here at Blacktown is right and to see players progress to the NRL is what we want and it’s a credit to the systems we have in place.
TS – Last season the side just missed out on the top 8. You had a draw with Penrith in the last round and then relied on other results to go your way but unfortunately they didn’t. How did you and the boys feel?
TC – We were devastated as we did work hard during the year. I remember coming off the field at full time against Penrith and thinking we were in the semi finals, only to be told that the Warriors scored on full time in their game against the Dragons. As I said we were devasted but it was also a big improvement from where we finished the year before. Now we have moved forward from last year and have made the goal to make the top 8 in 2019 and then see how far we can go.
TS – This pre-season brings new faces to the club. Players such as Andy Saunders who has got a lot of experience playing at this level. How has it been seeing someone like him around at training?
TC – It has been really good having Andy around. As you (Trev Smith) said he brings a lot of experience and since we do have a young squad the boys will be learning from him a lot because he (Andy Saunders) is very professional with everything he does on and off the field.
TS – How has Halesy (Steven Hales Instrust Super Premiership coach) been this pre-season?
TC – Halesy has been really good and tough at the same time. Training has been really tough and the boys have been putting in for Halesy. That’s a credit to Halesy because all of us boys from Intrust Super Premiership and Ron Massey Cup all respect him and we don’t want to let him down.
TS – This year you also have a new Head of Rugby League Operations Manager in Grant Mitchell. How have you found it to deal with Grant?
TC – Grant has been amazing in his role. He is always at training and around the boys. Grant brings a lot of experience to the club which has been a benefit not just to me but the boys as well because he is always available if we have any issues and it makes our job easier on the field because we have that peace of mind that everything is good off it and the club is moving forward from where it was in it’s first season to now.
TS – This year will see you play on the new stadium that has been built. How does that make you feel for morale?
TC – From what I’ve seen it’s a great facility and I know that it has boosted the morale of the boys as we can’t wait to play on the new stadium in front of a packed house. Moving forward hopefully it won’t just attract new players but more corporate sponsorship.
TS – To finish on a personal note. Last season you won the Emerging Nations World Cup with Malta at the end of 2018. How did that make you feel?
TC – It was really good as Malta have never won anything like the Emerging Nations. Malta have been trying for years to advance up the rankings of the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) and to win the Emerging Nations after just missing out on qualifying for the 2021 World Cup, it was really a big deal and now it lays the platform for the next generation of Maltese players.
We wish Tyler and the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles all the best for the season ahead.
Saturday at 5.05pm at Shark Park Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles will be versing Newtown Jets before Manly verse Cronulla Sharks at 7.30pm.