Even though there’s a World Cup on the horizon, plenty of fans are looking ahead to the 2023 Super League campaign and trying to dethrone St Helens at the top who have spent nearly half a decade dominating the league.
One way to close the gap on the top is of course via recruitment which Castleford coach Lee Radford spoke about when he appeared on Eddie and Stevo’s terrific podcast following the Grand Final this week.
Radford has already done a lot of squad building since arriving at the Jungle and was one of the most active coaches in the transfer market this time last year and it seems set to be the same this year as he plots another shed load of incomings.
He confirmed on the podcast that up to seven young English players will be headed to the Jungle.
“Yeah definitely, recruitment was something important,” Radford said to Eddie Hemmings, “We brought in six or seven players in last season and more to come this season.
“I’ve already said that we’re trying to lower the average age of the squad, we’ve gone out and picked out six or seven young blokes who hopefully have a future in the game and we’re going to give them every opportunity.
“We’ve got to try and find that mid-tier kind of English player and thankfully we’ve got one or two of them coming in.”
These players are widely expected to include the likes of Jack Broadbent, Muizz Mustapha and potentially Bradford’s AJ Wallace.
But the recruitment doesn’t end there, with some “star” players set to be announced in the coming weeks and months with Radford confirming that two halves have been signed for 2023:
“They’ve not been announced yet but I can’t really talk about them too much. We’ve got two halves and that was really important.
“Last year Niall Evalds went down injured, then we got Ryan Hampshire and then he went down and our six or seven went down as well.
“To have two blokes, and I think Salford have been an advertisement of what happens when you have the spine on the field all year and the continuity it brings, and hopefully that’s what we’ll have.”
These two halfbacks are likely to be Warrington’s Gareth Widdop and Jacob Miller from rivals Wakefield Trinity.