Castleford Tigers players are raring to go and ready to put a marker down that they make an impact in Super League this season.
The Tigers’ 2014 season begins at Bradford Bulls’ Provident Stadium on Sunday and head coach Daryl Powell wants his team to hit the ground running.
He told the Express: ”We’ve got a few more days to prepare, but I think everyone’s ready to go for the start of the Super League season.
“We’ve trained really strong this week and we want to start well at Bradford. It’s a key game for us.
“Our mentality needs to be right and we need to go there pretty much as we did a few weeks ago. Go there with a real strong and tough attitude to what we do.
“But we are starting from scratch, that game doesn’t mean anything. We learned a fair bit about ourselves and about Bradford in that game and it’s about making sure we build ourselves a platform to play the game from.
“Confidence is good in the camp. We’ve got a few more injuries than we would want at the moment, which is a bit of a concern, but overall I think we’ve had an outstanding pre-season preparation period.
“The players are ready to play and it’s about getting on the field and really this first month is a key one for us.
“First of all we want to focus on the Bradford game. We’ll take each game as it comes, of course, but we will try and create some focus by blocking our games together.
“This first block of games is a tough one and it will show us where we’re at and how much our work over pre-season has been positive for us.
”But first things first and we need an excellent performance against Bradford.
“It’s crucial to get off to a good start on Sunday and hopefully you can then start to build on that.”
Powell is pleased with the squad he has assembled ahead of the new season and believes its depth could be a big plus factor for the Tigers as they look to improve on their finishing positions in the last two years.
He said: “I’m really happy with the squad. There’s a few players at the moment who need to step up to the mark and they’ll continue to improve, but we’ve got a real solid group who are working exceptionally hard.
“Quite a few players have come through this pre-season period looking really fresh and strong and have got a great attitude.
“You always have players who are different levels to others and those who aren’t quite where they need to be having got some work to do. That’s the same in every club. But we’re really happy with the squad.
“It’s a good mix of experience and younger players and we’ve got some high quality players across all positions.
“We’ve got players with a lot to prove in certain positions and that brings a real desire to do well.
“I think the team ethic is exceptional and the attitude in the club is fantastic. There’s a real belief about us and it’s about putting all that work, effort, energy and knowledge into what we do now on a week to week basis.”