Former Castleford Tigers player Tony Smith has spoken of his delight at returning to the club in a coaching capacity.
Smith, who made 195 appearances for the Tigers after signing as a 15-year-old, has become the new head coach of the academy under 16s and will work alongside Pete Riding in the role.
He has been out of the game for five years, but is pleased to be back at Cas.
He said: “It is great to return to the club, having started here as a 15-year-old. It brings back quite a few fond memories.
“My last coaching appointment was five years ago with the England academy, which I really enjoyed, and coaching is something I have always done.
“I have carried on having a really keen interest in the game, though, despite being away for a while. When it is all you have done for over 20 years then it is not something you can forget about.”
Smith is excited to be working with head coach Daryl Powell and hopes he can help the head coach by developing the next generation of young stars.
He added: “I will be further down the line than Daryl, but I have known him since I made my debut for England, when he was England captain at the time.
“I know the culture he has made is great for any young player coming through the system and the pathway is there if you want to become a rugby league player.
“I now want to pass on my experience to some of the young players at this club to make the next generation.
“I know that talent is not just what it takes to be in the first team, it is also the attitude you require to get to the next level. I want to be a positive influence on that.”
Tigers head of youth performance Pete Riding said: “I am delighted that Tony is back in the game, he will be a quality addition to our coaching team.
“His experience both as a player and as a Super League coach will not only aid the development of our players, but will add significant value to the whole programme.”