TERRY Matterson is proud of the part he and his coaching staff and the players have played in securing another Super League licence for Castleford Tigers.
The Tigers head coach believes results and the promotion of homegrown talent into the first team have played a key role in persuading the RFL to keep the club in the top tier for another three years.
Matterson reckons the club has proved in the last three years that it belonged in Super League and the only thing holding them back was the prolonged move to a new stadium.
He said: “There was only going to be one result. How could they kick Castleford out after what we’ve done on the football field?
“Bar the stadium, everything else is healthy so there was only one decision and it was a bit frustrating to have to go through the process and the nervousness of it all.
“But I think the club needs to get the stadium in order in the next three years.
“Results played a big part and junior development as well, the amount of kids we’ve brought through into the first team. That’s what we’ve focussed on.
“The results have been key and the last three years we’ve been seventh, ninth and currently in sixth this year. It’s very hard to kick a team out that’s doing that.
“The club’s financially sound as well and has a supporter base that’s unbelievable. To see the amount of people down at the ground for the announcement was amazing.
“The turn out shows how much it means to the town to have a club in Super League. I’m glad I’ve been able to play a part in delivering it.
“I’m going to have fond memories of this place and I’m really grateful to have had the opportunity to coach here.
“The majority of fans have been wonderful to me. There’s always a small element at clubs, but most have been great and Castleford has a real place in my heart. We’re going to miss it when we leave.”
Matterson said the uncertainty hanging over the club with its licence application had never been allowed to get to the players.
He added: “To be honest the coaching staff and players haven’t focussed on or worried about getting the licence.
“I think if you worry about things that are out of your control it’s not going to help what you do so we’ve concentrated on what we do best and that’s play Rugby League.
“We’ve concentrated on working on our area and there’s some good people who’ve worked on their area and done a good job to make sure the licence was achieved.
“When I came here the club had just been promoted and had 13 players. It was the end of November and just to get a team that was capable of competing in Super League in that first year was a credit to everyone.
“Then to be relegated, come back up, build and to be sixth in Super League and in the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup I’m really proud. I know the club’s in good shape and can only move forward now.”
Chief executive Richard Wright paid tribue to the work of his team in securing the licence and was delighted for the people of Castleford.
He said: “It’s a fabulous day for the town. The fans are delirious and so many turned out to hear the announcement, which is typical of the Castleford people and how integrated the club is in the community.
“They’ll be having a few beers to celebrate I’m sure and they’ll be looking forward to Sunday then the cup semi-final.
“We’ve got some short-term priorities first. We want to beat Saints on Sunday then get through in the Challenge Cup against Leeds and get to Wembley. Then there’s the play-offs coming up. But there’s the priority of getting the planning consent for the food store on this ground because this gives us the funding for the new stadium.”