JACK BROADBENT is well aware of both the positives and negatives to being a versatile player as he embarks on securing a permanent spot in the Castleford Tigers team.
The 22-year-old England Knights international is in his first pre-season with Castleford after his time at Leeds Rhinos came to an end.
Broadbent made 22 appearances following his 2020 debut for Leeds, the majority of them in the 2021 season when he showed particular promise and appeared on his way to becoming a regular fixture in the side.
But opportunities were few and far between last term, limited to five games and finishing the year on loan at Featherstone Rovers in the Championship.
The talented player can feature across a range of positions for Castleford, across the threequarter line and at fullback or halfback, with his versatility no doubt an attractive feature for Lee Radford in choosing to sign him at the Jungle.
But Broadbent knows this value can be both a blessing and a curse and so is eager to nail down a spot, ideally at centre.
“It’s probably got me a lot more game time than I would have had if I only played in one position, but I am keen to nail down one position and make that my strength,” he said.
“If there’s any injury, it gives me a good chance to slot in, but as you go on in your career, players have had it before where it’s not worked in their favour. They’ve ended up being pushed out because they are so versatile, so I am keen to nail one position down.”
Broadbent says coach Radford has backed him to have a go at his favoured position, without forgetting about the others.
“We have spoken and I feel like centre is the one I can push with, but anything can happen,” said the Batley-born prospect.
“I’ve played a lot at fullback but centre is probably the main one that I want to make my own.
“Halfback, fullback, wing, anywhere in the outside backs, he’s just said to keep those under my wing but concentrate on nailing down centre.”
Broadbent made his first appearance in Castleford colours on New Year’s Eve at stand-off, helping to lead a very inexperienced side in a very respectable defeat to Featherstone.
He enjoyed his debut try and saw plenty of good signs from those around him too.
“It was a good first hit-out; I think we gave a really good account of ourselves,” he reflected.
“We had a really young team out against a strong Featherstone side, we’ve gone in there and we’re really happy with how we performed.
“I played with a few of them (at Rovers) last year; they’ve got a strong side that is probably going to be pushing for Super League, and we went toe-to-toe with them for 80 minutes.”