Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell has agreed a five-year contract extension that will keep him at the Mend-A-Hose Junngle until the end of 2019.
Former Featherstone Rovers boss Powell has won 20 of his 31 games in charge of the Tigers since taking the job in May last year, moving the club from the near the foot of the Super League table to third place.
The 48-year-old has also overseen their run to the Challenge Cup semi-finals, which included a stunning quarter-final win at Wigan last weekend.
“I’m really pleased that I’ve got my future sorted; obviously it’s an important contract for me, it’s my first job back in Super League and I’ve been delighted with how it’s gone so far,” said Powell, who swapped Championship side Featherstone for Castleford following the sacking of Ian Millward.
“The term of the contract will allow me and the coaching staff that we have in place at the moment to really build something at the club that will hopefully be really special.
“It’s a dream job for me to coach the team that I believed in as a young man. It means an immense amount to me to be able to lead it from a playing perspective and give the supporters hopefully something special and a club that’s got a feel about it that they feel a part of.
“I’m really looking forward to growing and developing the club, and obviously growing and consistently getting better myself, which along with the players, we should be striving to every day.”
Powell’s new deal comes ahead of an instant rematch with Wigan on Friday night, which is live on Sky Sports, and the former Leeds Rhinos coach wants to build on the success he has already had.
He said: “I think that if we can create stability, continue to build our environment, get the best young players playing at Castleford - we all know that it’s one of the best areas in the country for young players - then there is no reason why we shouldn’t be challenging to push the top teams come final days; I don’t see any reason why that can’t happen.
“We have seen this season that we have made a real statement about the club and where we want to go. The performances have been fantastic and we have got to maintain that and that’s a very difficult thing to do, but there’s no reason why we can’t.”
Powell’s success has been centred around the promotion of young players and, in the case of the likes of Liam Finn, signing experienced heads from the lower leagues.
“I think that we have proved that you don’t need a vast amount of marquee players,” he said.
“We have got some outstanding players in our club, but you can help players to develop and grow and if you do that, then you turn a player that might be worth a certain amount of money into a player that’s worth a hell of a lot more.”