MICHAEL Shenton deserves to receive a warm reception from fans when he returns to Castleford for the first time in a St Helens shirt on Sunday, according to his former coach.
The England centre went from rookie to international under Terry Matterson before leaving to join Saints at the end of last season.
He has already lined up against the Tigers in the side’s first meeting of the year at the Stobart Stadium in April, but this will be his first game back at his old stomping ground and supporters are unlikely to let the fact go unnoticed.
“It will be great to see Michael Shenton back at Castleford,” said Matterson.
“I’ve got a great friendship with Michael and he’s part of what we’ve done here.
“It was disappointing he had to leave, but for himself that was the right decision. We haven’t lost too many, but the disappointing part about Michael going was that we didn’t get any money for him.
“He’s doing really well over there and he’s one of the good guys in the game.
“I’m sure the fans will appreciate him at the weekend. I don’t think there’ll be any booing. He’s a favourite son here and I’m sure one day he’ll be back at Castleford.”
Shenton’s return will invite comparisons with the young centre who has so capably taken his place this year.
“It will be interesting to compare him to Joe Arundel,” added Matterson.
“It’s something I’ve got to look at whether Joe will play as he’s played every game. But he was wonderful last weekend. They really hammered our right side of the field and Joe was really strong.
“Michael’s playing on the other side of the field to Joe so it’s not going to be a head to head battle, it’s more like Michael going up against Kirk Dixon and they’re good mates so that will be interesting.
“But it will be great to have Michael back at the ground and I’m sure the fans will show their appreciation for what he did here.”