HARD working forward Stuart Jones (pictured) has signed a new one-year deal to stay with Castleford Tigers until at least the end of 2012.
The Wigan-born back rower has come in for praise from coach Terry Matterson after some impressive displays this season and was so nearly the hero when coming within inches of scoring a crucial try for the Tigers in last Sunday’s Challenge Cup semi-final.
Jones started out at his hometown club and played for St Helens and Huddersfield before joining Cas in 2009. He has so far made 72 appearances for the Tigers, scoring ten tries.
He is pleased to commit to a fourth season with Cas.
He said: “I’m delighted to have signed the contract. The club’s got a good structure in place, with the new stadium and stuff and all the new backing it’s really going in the right direction. It’s good to be part of it.
“The things off the field are coming together and on the field it is as well so it’s exciting times to be at Castleford.
“We’re going to have some personnel changes next year and in a way it’s going to feel like a new club, but I’ve really enjoyed my time here and hopefully it will continue.
“With Terry Matterson going I think there will be a massive change off the field next year early on. Obviously I don’t know who will be in charge yet, but I’m sure they will want to bring their own ideas and bring their own influence onto the team.
“But everything’s in place to have a good crack at that and I just look forward to it as a player and adapt when it happens.”
Jones is pleased to have played his part in a thrilling season so far for Cas and wants to see the team round it off successfully by reaching the Super League play-offs.
He added: “We’ve had our ups and downs, none more so than on the weekend, but I think we’ve probably beaten everybody else’s expectations outside the club.”
“The players and staff wanted to reach the Challenge Cup final and we didn’t quite do that, but we’re still in a good position to make the play-offs and have a crack at that.
“We put everything into the semi-final and didn’t quite have that guile to finish the game out. Hopefully we can learn from that. We might get a similar scenario in the play-offs and we can play better.
“The players are absolutely gutted and are probably going to take more than a few days to recover, but we need a few more points to secure that top eight place and we can then start thinking about some more semi-final football.
“We’re obviously bitterly disappointed, but we’ve got to put that emotion to the side for the game at Leeds this week.
“It’s a good opportunity to get two more points towards the points we need. Hopefully they’ll have one eye on the cup and we can go over there and do a number on them.”