Nathan Massey keen for Castleford Tigers stay
LONG-SERVING prop Nathan Massey says he has “come into my own” this season as he looks to secure a deal that could keep him at Castleford Tigers for the rest of his career.
The forward, who turns 32 in July, has been one of the West Yorkshire club’s top performers during an excellent start to the campaign.
He was influential again in Saturday’s dramatic Betfred Challenge Cup 19-18 win over Salford Red Devils which has set up a semi-final date with Warrington Wolves, and has also helped Daryl Powell’s side perform well in Super League.
Massey, who has played all his career at Wheldon Road, is out of contact at the end of the season when ex-Hull FC coach Lee Radford will replace Warrington-bound Powell.
However, he hopes to further extend his stay and said: “I’ve had a chat with Radders.
“We’re having talks now so hopefully something will get sorted moving forward.
“I’m getting to the point where if I can stay at Cas and finish my career here then obviously I will do. I’ve had a decent chat with him and hopefully we can get something done.
“I’ve come into my own a little bit this season. I’m a little bit older now. Last year was stop-start with lockdown and coming back and I think it hit everyone’s performance really. I had a pretty strong pre-season this year and my game has changed a little.
“It probably suits me more having to play longer minutes and with it being faster, too.
“I’ve still got bits of my game I need to improve but I am happy with how I’m going at the minute.”
Just as they did at Hull KR in the last round, Castleford won Saturday’s Cup tie courtesy of a Gareth O’Brien drop-goal in extra-time.
It has left some people thinking their name could be destined to be on the Cup this year for the first time since 1986.
Massey – a beaten finalist with Tigers in 2014 – said: “Hopefully that’s the case. We’ve got a tough draw against Warrington.
“We’ll look forward to that game and fingers crossed we can knock then off and get back to Wembley. We do seem to be doing it tough in the Cup and making it difficult for ourselves.
“Going down to 11 men on Saturday didn’t help us but fair play to Salford. I thought they played really well.
“They gave us a tough game, changed the team a little bit from the previous week when we won in Super League and it was a challenge.
“It was a tough, physical game but one we came out on top off and one I think will put us in good stead moving forward.
“I’m just glad we didn’t have to do another 10 minutes of extra-time like at KR!”
Castleford face Hull KR again on Monday when supporters will be allowed into a game at Wheldon Road for the first time since March last year.
Leeds-born Massey admitted: “It probably will be a bit weird as it’s been that long since we did last have fans there.
“But it will be great. They are a big part of our club and really help us in games so it will be awesome to get some sort of crowd back there.
“KR have picked up some form of late and had a couple of good wins since we last played.”
Prop Liam Watts will miss out, though, as he has received a one-game ban for the late tackle that saw him sin-binned against Salford.
On social media, a disgruntled Watts wrote: “Games on its ar*e if that’s a one match ban.”