Castleford Tigers forward Andy Lynch is confident the club can go one better in 2015 and emulate their heroics of last season, and he claims that everyone at the club is determined not to be a “one-year wonder”.
The Tigers were the big success story of last season, finishing fourth on the Super League ladder, as well as reaching the Challenge Cup Final, before losing out to Leeds at Wembley. But Lynch is not resting on his laurels, and is already looking forward to the new campaign believing that the Tigers can improve under the stewardship of Daryl Powell once again.
“We were confident at the beginning of the year, but we definitely took a few teams by surprise,” Lynch told League Express.
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“Naturally we had a great year, but we can’t be a one-year wonder – we’re working hard behind the scenes already to ensure that next year we get even better and become even stronger. With our new signings I can’t see why we won’t get better.
“Cas are back on the map now, and that’s what I wanted all along. We can compete and we want to get even better and go one step further in 2015.”
Lynch admitted that the squad will use their play-off disappointment – when they exited after two consecutive defeats – as a motivational tool to ensure they don’t slip up again in the coming season. He has backed the club’s new recruits – as well as the Cas fans – to create another Castleford fairytale again next year.
“The players we’ve lost are quality players, make no mistake about it. But players come and go all the time, and the lads we have signed are great recruits, and we can’t wait to get into pre-season training now and rip in.
“Ben Roberts in particular looked great playing for Samoa. He can dictate what happens around the park and he’ll be brilliant for us. Losing Marc Sneyd was a big blow, but Ben looked good against England and hopefully he’ll be able to step into Marc’s shoes and partner up with someone to kick on.
“It’s massive to keep up that atmosphere at home. We love playing down there and we need to keep making it hard for teams to come here. The fans play a big part in it, because they make it difficult for opposition players when they step out onto the pitch.”
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Lynch is in the middle of his testimonial year, and has revealed to League Express that he plans to reunite the club’s iconic 1999 squad – the first squad Lynch played with – for a celebration next year, with a host of famous faces returning to The Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
“In May next year it’s 15 years since I started playing in the team, so I’m looking to bring people like Adrian Vowles and Stuart Raper back over to try and get a game on. We’ll be auctioning places off to play against them, but just to bring them back over and have a celebration of that time will be a great event.”