CASTLEFORD will be the tenth different club in the career of 24-year-old Samy Kibula.
But Tigers head coach Craig Lingard hopes that it is the place at which the prop finally fulfils his potential.
Kibula, who was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo before moving to the UK with his family at the age of two, came through Wigan’s famed Academy before joining Warrington in 2020.
He only played three Super League games in total for those clubs, instead moving from one loan spell to another, at Swinton, London Skolars, Dewsbury and Newcastle (not making an appearance for the latter due to a serious Achilles injury).
The 2022 season took him to Bradford, then last season he joined Batley and made 19 appearances (and played on loan at Oldham), the most at any club to date.
His coach at the Bulldogs was Lingard, with Kibula one of three players from that squad to join Castleford ahead of 2024, alongside Luke Hooley and Josh Hodson.
“He came onto the scene as an 18-year-old at Wigan and people were expecting more from him than they should have done,” reflected Lingard.
“He’s been out on loan to pretty much every club in the north of England, which probably hasn’t helped his development when you look back.
“I guess he’s been in a bit of limbo about where he’s going to be and who has got that confidence in him. He’s a player who needs to understand the coach has got some confidence in him.
“It’s a really good opportunity for him. He’s got that strength and he’s got some real silky skills for a big man.
“It’s about Samy getting that engine so he can go for long periods in the modern game. He’s doing extras in training and his fitness is getting better through this pre-season.
“Hopefully there will be the opportunity for him to play first-team rugby, and then it’s down to him to grasp it with both hands.
“He’s certainly somebody we’re excited by and hopefully he can finally fulfil that potential that people saw in him when he first burst onto the scene at Wigan.”