Castleford Tigers have announced that Lee Radford will become the club’s new head coach from the 2022 season.
Radford will join the Tigers on an initial two-year deal – he will replace Daryl Powell who will end his tenure with Castleford Tigers at the end of the 2021 season. Further appointments of Radford’s fellow coaching staff will be confirmed in due course.
The 42-year-old had a decorated playing career with both Hull FC and Bradford Bulls where with the former he lifted the Challenge Cup and World Club Challenge trophies and won the Super League title twice. A former captain for the Black & Whites, he moved into their coaching setup at the end of 2011 and was named their Head Coach in 2013.
During his time in charge of Hull FC, Radford ended their Wembley hoodoo with a Challenge Cup victory in 2016 and then backed it up by successfully retaining the famous trophy a year later.
Speaking about joining the Tigers for 2022, Lee Radford said: “I’m really excited for the opportunity with a fantastic club and I’m really looking forward to taking up the challenge.
“I like what the club is about, from the outside it is a hardworking, honest, hard-faced club and I think you know what you’re getting when you come here. I think all those descriptions suit me down to the ground.
“I’m very aware of the brand of rugby that is played at this ground and it’s one I’m looking forward to having an effect on as well.
“How they play the brand of rugby they play here, I’ve always enjoyed watching it from the outside, I’ve always enjoyed coming up against it and trying to stop it.”
The job Daryl has done has been great over the years, as a club they have been in that tier of the best of the rest behind a Wigan and Saints, and ultimately trying to break that ceiling is going to be what the challenge is.
“I wouldn’t be coming here if I didn’t have aspirations to break that ceiling of what is the top couple of sides in the competition at the moment. That is something we will be working tirelessly as a club and as a group to achieve.”
In a message for the Castleford Tigers supporters, Radford affirmed his adoration for the club’s home ground at Wheldon Road, and how he is eagerly anticipating supporters being back in the stands at The Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
“I look forward to seeing you! I watched my first behind closed doors game last Friday night at Craven Park and it was a surreal experience, I’ve never been in a Super League fixture with no fans there, it didn’t feel right. That is something I am also looking forward to next year, hopefully, all the precautions are well and truly out the way, and we can get this place bouncing again, and watching some of the rugby, and getting some of the results that the Cas fans want.
“The fact that it is so enclosed, and your spectators are on top of you, I say it all the time, it’s an unbelievable place to play and an unbelievable place to come and coach. To come and coach for the home team is something I am really looking forward to.”
On behalf of the Board of Directors, Castleford Tigers Chairman Ian Fulton welcomed Lee to the club stating: “We are thrilled to welcome Lee Radford as our Head Coach from the 2022 season on a two-year contract.
“Appointing our next Head Coach has been an incredibly extensive process with applicants from both codes of rugby applying for the position, and we as a Board of Directors are delighted to have secured Lee’s services, and he has already begun his work at identifying players for both retention and recruitment in 2022.
“Everyone at Castleford remains focused on the current task at hand in 2021 with our First Team squad and Head Coach Daryl Powell, who we would love to see end his time with the Tigers on a deserved high note.”