CASTLEFORD Tigers chief executive Richard Wright has spoken of his disappointment on missing out on transfer target Constantine Mika.
Tigers thought they had captured the 22-year-old Samoan international from Newcastle Knights last week, but were unable to finalise the deal with a rival Super League club – thought to be Hull KR – stepping in to sign the ball-playing forward.
“Constantine was the NRL forward that we were hoping to sign,” confirmed Wright.
“It was a long complicated process. We’d agreed terms with the player and his agent and put in all of the hard work in securing his release from Newcastle, where he had another year.
“It appears that at the very last minute, a rival Super League club whose new coach has previously worked with the player came in and that was the deciding factor.
“Players do like to play under coaches they are familiar with having worked together in the past, especially when they are young and moving to the other side of the world. In this case that proved the difference between him coming here and signing elsewhere.
“However, it is an opportunity for someone else and head coach Ian Millward has today arrived in Australia for a fortnight’s stay with a view to meeting agents and sourcing potential new recruits.”
Castleford have signed outside back Josh Griffin and prop Steve Nash, but are looking to add to their forward ranks and have room on their overseas quota.
A back rower is the priority following the departure of Dean Widders and Martin Aspinwall and Mika would have fit the bill with a reputation as a natural talent, who would have added to the attacking options.