WHILE it has now been officially confirmed that there will be no Boxing Day game for Castleford Tigers this year the club is opening its doors for fans to meet the players and see them in training action.
The Tigers have played Bradford on Boxing Day for the past two years, but have been unable to find suitable opponents this time so instead have decided to stage a special training session for supporters to see the players put through their paces at the Wish Communications Stadium.
Afterwards supporters can then meet the players in the Tigers Bar where they will be available to chat and sign autographs.
Chief executive Steve Ferres (pictured) explained: “We had tried to reverse last year’s fixture with Bradford, but they have a small squad and didn’t want to risk injuries.
“As such, we tried to secure a match elsewhere but have been unable to do so with a team that would make it a viable proposition.
“For the same reason as the Bulls, Ian Millward is also reluctant for the squad to play so early and with two exciting challenges facing them ahead of the new season, it is important the players are in full fitness for those matches.
“I am nevertheless, aware of how much fans enjoy the Boxing Day fixture so we have decided to try something unique. The Wish Communications Stadium will be open that day and the players training schedules have been adapted to give supporters the opportunity to come down to the ground and see them train in a full contact session on the main pitch, subject to the weather.
“The Tigers Bar will be opened afterwards where the players will join fans, sign autographs and be available chat about their preparations for the new season.
“It will be a day for all the family that will put our fans face to face with the Tigers stars of 2013 and hopefully set the tone for a promising new season.”
Castleford open their Super League season away at Warrington Wolves on Sunday, February 3 and have arranged two pre-season friendlies away at Hull FC on Sunday, January 13 and at home to Featherstone Rovers on Sunday, January 20.