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Ranking Daryl Powell’s first nine signings as Castleford boss

In the eight-and-a-half years that Daryl Powell has been at Castleford, a lot of new players have come and gone through the doors at the Jungle.

Some have been very successful whilst others have been damp squibs. In his first full-preseason, Powell made nine off-season signings ready for 2014.

Here, they are ranked.

9. Brett Seymour

Brett Seymour had joined Castleford in September 2013, but left the club without making an appearance in March 2014, hence why the halfback is at the bottom of this list. Seymour then had spells at Whitehaven and Dewsbury.

8. Ashley Gibson

Powell’s main aim in 2014 was clear: bolster his squad. The signing of Ashley Gibson did just that. The three-quarter made just 28 appearances for Castleford over the course of two seasons, but he became an important squad player for the club.

7. Scott Wheeldon

He had been at Hull FC, Hull KR and London Broncos, but Scott Wheeldon became a Castleford player ahead of the 2014 season. Over the course of two seasons, the prop made 42 appearances in Tigers colours, featuring in the club’s Wembley appearance in Powell’s first full season. Always one to do the hard graft, Wheeldon went about his business quietly, but left for Sheffield Eagles after 2015.

6. Michael Channing

After signing on-loan from London in July 2013, Michael Channing was given a permanent deal in September of that year by Powell. The Londoner remained at the Jungle until the end of 2015, appearing 28 times for the Tigers, scoring eight tries in the process. His overall enthusiasm and determination to succeed was infectious and Channing became a real favourite amongst teammates and fans alike.

5. Liam Finn

For all the criticism he got at Castleford, Liam Finn was actually a very good servant for Powell. After joining ahead of the 2014 season, many Tigers fans have forgotten that the halfback partnered Marc Sneyd in getting Castleford to the Challenge Cup Final. Finn would stay at the Jungle for 2015 too and ended up making over 50 appearances for the club. An organiser with a great rugby league brain, Finn finally proved his worth as a Super League player after spending almost all of his career in the second division.

4. Frankie Mariano

After spells at Hull KR, Wakefield and Featherstone, Frankie Mariano was brought to the Jungle as part of a reformed Castleford pack ahead of the 2014 season. Though blighted with injury throughout his three-year spell with the Tigers, the forward made his impact felt when he did take to the field. Always one to carry extra men with him in the tackle, Mariano was one of the key figureheads for the West Yorkshire side in their assault on Wembley in 2014 and would surely have made more than 40 appearances had he not suffered so much on the sidelines.

3. Andy Lynch

The decision to bring back Andy Lynch at the age of 33 certainly raised a few eyebrows amongst Castleford fans. Granted, the prop had had a successful career at Bradford and then Hull, but Lynch seemingly had unfinished business with his hometown club. And, he certainly proved that in his maiden season, becoming one of Powell’s most important pack players as the club reached Wembley. Lynch would play on in 2015, 2016 and 2017 before hanging his boots up at the end of the latter.

2. Marc Sneyd

It was a bit of a gamble to bring Marc Sneyd to the Jungle; having been at Salford for four seasons, the halfback made a loan move to Castleford ready for 2014. It was a match made in heaven as Sneyd became a major factor in the Tigers reaching the Challenge Cup Final that year. With a goalkicking ability that was often the envy of opposition fans, the halfback registered 264 points in just 31 games at Castleford. The Tigers faithful wanted to keep him after such an impressive season, but Sneyd moved to Hull FC permanently after just one year at the Jungle.

1. Luke Dorn

Luke Dorn had already been a Tigers player in 2008 and many of the Castleford faithful were sad to see him go at the end of that year. So, when he returned in 2014, it was music to many fans’ ears. Dorn was actually handed the number six shirt by Powell upon arriving, but soon made the shift to fullback where he became an integral part of the Castleford outfit. In another three seasons in West Yorkshire, the elusive Aussie made 59 appearances, scoring 45 tries and has often been hailed as one of the Tigers’ greatest overseas imports.

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