Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell is pleased with the way training is going so far as he aims to toughen his squad up for the rigours of another Super League season.
Powell and his coaching staff have devised a plan to help the players to be more durable in defence when under pressure in games and the first team stars are certainly feeling the “burn” in their first few weeks of pre-season training.
Powell told the Express: “We are into our fourth week and it’s going really well.
“The boys are working really hard, there’s a good attitude about them. I’m really pleased with where we’re at.
“It’s a slightly different approach this year from us, which I think is good, and the players have responded really well to what we’ve been doing.
“We’re playing a lot of conditioning games, there’s been a lot of work with the weights and wrestle and hand-eye, the usual skill based stuff, but we’re putting them under a lot of pressure within the conditioning games, which is really working the boys hard.
“Some of the boys are finding it really, really tough and we are setting ourselves high standards this year so it’s important that everybody fights hard to reach the bar that we’ve set.
“Our ability to be durable under pressure is something that we’re working really hard on.”
Powell explained that the pre-season work was being geared up to ensure the Tigers get off to their best possible start when Super League gets under way
He said: “I think everybody knows that with the way Super League is set up now you need a good start.
“It will help that we are going to Lanzarote in January and will be coming back just before the Batley and St Helens pre-season games. It will be an important part of our preparation, particularly with the England camp and us not having some players for a period in January.”
Powell has not got a full compliment of players in training yet, but expects to have everyone in by the turn of the year.
He added: “All the new boys are in training now, they’re working hard and fitting in well.
“We’ve got a few players who aren’t training with the injuries they’ve had operated on at the end of last season. So it’s a little bit of a mix. we’ve got a lot of young players in there and they are acquitting themselves pretty well.
“We’ll start getting players drip fed back in as they recover from their injuries around Christmas time or just after.”