NEW Castleford Tigers coach Ian Millward is delighted with the outstanding young talent he has inherited, but is wasting no time getting on with the job of identifying new recruits who can help take the club to the next level.
On his first day at the Probiz Coliseum after taking over from Terry Matterson, the former Leigh, St Helens and Wigan coach said he was looking forward to the challenge ahead with his first tasks to sort out his backroom staff and putting a first team squad together.
Millward (pictured) is not making any predictions on where the Tigers will finish in Super League next year, but he reckons it is a club on the up and is eager to get everything in place.
He told the Express: “Everyone knows the club is looking to move forward with the new stadium and everything. I’m looking forward to getting started.
“Castleford’s a community club and it’s the focus of the community so I’m looking forward to being part of it.
“I’m excited about the young talent at the club. The club have done a great job with these youngsters and I hope I can improve them further.
“I’m not big on saying what we’re going to achieve. I’d like to think my job is to help players and improve them and hopefully with that the club can move forward.
“I’m not really thinking about where we’ll finish next year yet, I’m thinking more about putting a staff and players together first.
“I’ve not met all the players yet. I’ve spoken to some of them on the phone and told them some things, but I will wait until the start of pre-season training.”
Millward wants to add to his squad for 2012 with irons already in the fire on several signings, including an as yet unnamed young Australian.
He said: “Obviously four or five have left so we will be bringing some players in.”
“There will be more emphasis on youth to back-up what we’ve currently got coming through.
“We’re mostly looking over here. Let’s say that if we brought in four players, three would be from England and one from Australia. I’m in negotiations at the moment with a 21-year-old from Australia.
“With Dean Widders, Nick Fozzard and Martin Aspinwall leaving we’d like to bring in a couple of forwards and we’re looking at bringing in an outside back, a centre would be ideal, but they are not easy to find. Our ideal thing would be to bring in an English centre if we could.”
One player Millward is looking forward to working with is Rangi Chase and he is pleased he has agreed a new deal to stay at the club for four more years.
He added: “For the club to be able to retain Rangi on a four-year deal is a big statement.
“I knew when I had talks with the club that they were very committed to keeping Rangi and they’ve followed that commitment through. It makes a statement for our youngsters coming through. We do have a lot of youngsters and that’s what we’re trying to underpin our business with at the moment.
“The team did well with a lot of youngsters in it in the season just finished and Terry Matterson did a good job. Obviously they had injuries, but they started the year well and that underpinned the season. But I’m probably not going too much on what they did last year because as a new coach you need to come in with a fresh mind and fresh thoughts.
“I’m aware of the attacking style for which the club is known and everyone wants to attack, but you’ve got to earn the right to. We’ve got to get consistent in our structures first before we get too expansive. I agree my teams have been known for their attacking game so I’m not going to get boring all of a sudden.”