CASTLEFORD Tigers’ youth development department presented shirts to its under 15 and under 16 academy squads in front of a packed audience.
Head of youth development Steve Gill introduced proceedings before first team head coach Ian Millward spoke to the squads and their families about what may be in store for the players as they progress through the successful youth system at the club.
The under 15 squad were duly presented with their shirts and each photographed with Millward and assistant coach Danny Orr; himself a product of the club’s youth system.
While the under 15 players will not take part in any competitive fixtures in 2013, they will train with the under 16s and take part in development programmes aligned to their own player development strategies.
Chief executive Steve Ferres addressed the audience following the presentation and spoke about the club’s intention to nurture as many homegrown players as possible through the club’s youth system.
Head scout Steve Copley was on hand to introduce each of the under 16 squad, including James Brown who was congratulated by Ferres on his recent inclusion in the England youth squad for 2013.
The under 16 squad will take part in eight matches over the course of their season, with fixtures due to be released in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, Tigers’ new signing Keith Mason (pictured) is heading for Hollywood.
The 30-year old prop forward has landed a role in a Mickey Rourke movie about rugby star Gareth Thomas with filming expected to start in September.
But first Mason is determined to make a big impact for his new club after leaving Huddersfield and signing a one-year deal with the Tigers.
He said: “I loved it at Huddersfield and am shocked it’s over. It’s sad it ended how it has but I have to move on. I’m excited by Castleford.”