Championship made me a better player, says Crossley

New Castleford Tigers signing Steve Crossley says his time in the Championship has made him a better player ahead of a return to Super League – saying he needed to “get his body bashed about” in the lower leagues.

Crossley left Bradford at the age of just 21, before spending time outside of Super League at Dewsbury and then Featherstone – where he was signed by current Tigers boss Daryl Powell.

Now 24, Crossley thinks that his career has taken huge strides forward since leaving the Bulls, and he’s ready for a return to Super League with Castleford.

“I wasn’t getting loaned out at Bradford when I needed a challenge. I needed to play against men and get my body bashed about a bit,” Crossley said.

“So I did actually ask for the release to step down and get the game time I needed, with the intention of coming back up. Now I am back and it feels good.

“When I left Bradford, I had a year left on my contract and I was playing in the reserves, which I had been doing for a while. I was 21 and it wasn’t benefiting my career like it was when I was 16.

“Obviously I have always wanted to step back up since then, so to get the chance to do it at Castleford has been really good.”