Castleford new boy Mitchell aims to make impact

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NEW recruit Lee Mitchell is keen to sample the famous Castleford roar when he pulls on the Tigers shirt for the first time to play at the Probiz Coliseum.

The 23-year-old on-loan back rower has never played a senior game at Castleford, but knows all about how the fans get behind the players and cannot wait to hear it for himself.

Mitchell may make his Tigers debut in the Boxing Day game against Bradford and wants to make a quick impression to show Cas supporters what he can do and to try to win a regular place in the starting line-up.

He told the Express: “I’m hoping to make my debut on Boxing Day. I don’t know for sure yet, but I’d like to get the first game out of the way as soon as possible and get a little bit of game time under my belt ready for the new season.

“My aim is to play as much as I can, just to be fit and healthy and be playing well week in and week out. Hopefully playing consistently every week.

“I’m definitely looking forward to showing Cas fans what I can offer the team. It’s another challenge for me and an exciting one.

“I’m looking forward to being there or thereabouts at the end of the week and playing regular Super League hopefully.

“I’ve never played at Cas before so I’m looking forward to the atmosphere at the ground.

“The crowd are passionate and they get behind the Cas boys a lot so I’m looking forward to that. It will be good to have them on my side.”

Mitchell is excited about the new season and wants to be involved when Cas take on his parent club, Warrington.

He said: “I will be looking forward to playing Warrington. Because I’m on loan it will make it a big occasion for me. But other than that I will take each game as it comes.”

Mitchell said: “The first game against Salford will be good at their new stadium and playing St Helens at their new stadium for the first time as well will be a good experience as well.

“I’ve yet to experience the derbies with Wakefield and Leeds, but I’m sure I’ll find out pretty quick what they’re all about.”

Mitchell is getting used to a new routine in training at Cas.

He added: “The days have been really long, but they’ve been really productive days.

“It’s a mile different from what I’ve been used to in the past, but you take to it pretty quick and it’s a good routine we’re in at the minute.

“I’m finding the travel over a new challenge as well, but all the boys have been really good to me and, touch wood, the training’s going well.

“All the lads are really good, they’re all down to earth. We’ve got a pretty young squad and there’s a couple of new boys that I believe have come up from the reserves last year and they’re all mixing in well as well. It’s been good so far.

“I know Jake Emmitt from my time at Leigh and I played with him when I was younger with Warrington Schoolboys when I was about 11. We both went our separate ways, but we’ve ended up together at Cas.

“I also know some of the younger lads from playing against them in the reserves as they’ve been coming through.

“I have worked with Ian Millward in the last couple of years for short periods of time. I’ve got a good respect for him and I believe he can help me improve my game and help the team to do all right as well.

“I don’t know whether the move will be permanent. It’s a big change for me to travel over every day. At the minute I’m enjoying it, but we’ll see what we do throughout the year and see how we end up at the end of the year.”

Head coach Millward is pleased with what he has seen in training from Mitchell.

He said: “Lee’s a very promising English back rower, who is really starting to develop body-wise.

“He’s got tall in the last year and he’s filled out too. I’m really happy with the progress he’s making physically.

“What strikes you with Lee is he’s very professional, he’s very committed and he really has a thirst to get the best out of his game. Where that leads to time will tell.”