CASTLEFORD Tigers’ long serving Australian star Ryan McGoldrick wants to stay at the club beyond the one more year he has left on his contract.
Cairns-born McGoldrick, 30, joined the Tigers in 2006 and after proving a big hit signed a four-year contract taking him up to the end of 2012. In six seasons he has played 150 games in a variety of positions from full-back to loose forward.
Now well on the way to full fitness after a niggling knee injury held him back last term, the USA international is raring to go and aiming to impress in a bid to win a new deal that could see him play out the rest of his career with Castleford.
He told the Express: “I’m looking to have a big season.
“Last year was pretty much a write-off for me for a few different reasons. I think I missed the first 15 games.
“I’m looking to getting back to enjoying my footy again.
“I’m off contract at the end of next year and I will have done seven years here then. Considering I was only originally coming for one that pile of quicksand in Cas must be pretty big!
“I’m looking forward to continuing my career here, but at the moment my aim is getting back and playing some good footy and then that will all take care of itself.
“I’d be keen to stay on. I spend my whole time in England in the Cas area and I’ve only played for Cas and enjoyed it.
“If the opportunity came for a new deal and it’s all right I would love to stay. I’m not looking to play anywhere else. That will be worked out in the next few months.”
McGoldrick feels the club has progressed in his six years.
He said: “I’ve seen some changes in my time at Cas. The stadium hasn’t changed - I thought we would be moving into a new stadium in 2007, but we’re still going there. But the club has come a long way since 2006.
“There’s still a long way to go, but the players we’ve brought through are starting to come to the fore and hopefully their development will continue.
“The last piece of the puzzle is a bigger squad. Now we’ve got a bigger coaching staff, but a bigger squad would allow us to be more capable of dealing with injuries.
“I think we have to aim for the play-offs to go at least one better than last season. We were all but there for the whole year - the only time we dropped out of the top eight was in the last round.
“The goal has to be to get into the top eight because you are then into the next competition, but hopefully we can have another good run in the Challenge Cup as well.
“We did get pretty close and looking back if our squad had been just that little bit bigger to deal with the injuries we had at that time it could have turned the whole back end of the season around.
“I think we suffered from a bit of a hangover after the semi-final loss and I don’t think some of the boys recovered from that.”
Having played at full-back, centre, half-back and in the forwards in the last few years, McGoldrick has become the Tigers’ “Mr Versatility” and he expects to be given a number of roles in 2012, although there is one position in which he would like to hold down a regular place in the team.
He said: “I think the plan is for me to play at the back of the scrum and play number 13.
“But having said that when you look at our squad I’ll need to be able to cover a few positions again, which I’ve got used to in my time here.
“I expect I will be filling in at the halves and at full-back again at some stage. I guess it becomes lucky and unlucky for me that I can fill in a few different spots. But I’m happy to fit in where I’m needed at the time.”
McGoldrick may get an early chance to stake a claim in the loose forward position in the Boxing Day game against Bradford Bulls at the Probiz Coliseum so long as he is injury-free and playing conditions are right.
He is feeling fit and healthy right now, however, and hopes to have finally shaken off his knee injury.
He added: “I’ve been struggling with my knee for the last year and the end of 2010, but we are starting to get on top of it now and, fingers crossed, by the start of the year it will be a thing of the past.
“It will be good to start the season fully fit, rather than battling through the year.”