Joe Westerman is enjoying his third spell at Castleford Tigers – and second under the coaching of Lee Radford – and says helping the club he supported as a child land some silverware would be the biggest achievement of his career.
The former England loose-forward who will be 33 next month is halfway through the two-year deal he signed on moving from neighbours Wakefield, and has made a big impact.
He and fellow former Hull man Mahe Fonua, also recruited by Radford last close-season, were the only Tigers to feature in all 29 Super League and Challenge Cup matches this year.
Castleford missed out on the play-offs after their final-day defeat at Leeds and were beaten at Hull KR in the Cup quarter-finals.
And popular Westerman, who represented England against Samoa during the 2014 Four Nations and featured against the Combined Nations All Stars in 2021 and has also played for Warrington and Toronto, believes there is plenty of improvement to be had.
Having marked his debut campaign by helping the Tigers win promotion back to Super League at the first attempt in 2007 after losing a dramatic survival battle at Wakefield a year earlier, Westerman became a team-mate of Radford on joining Hull in 2011.
Radford became the Black and Whites’ coach in 2014 and after Westerman switched to Warrington for the 2016 and 2017 seasons, and then had a short spell at Toronto, he brought him back to Hull in April 2018 before he switched to Wakefield in 2020.
“Radders got rid of me from Hull, brought me back, got rid of me again, then brought me to Castleford,” quipped the Pontefract-born star.
“The club means a lot to me. I grew up supporting them and it’s where I stared my career.
“I always wanted to return there, and hopefully it’s third time lucky.
“After losing both a Challenge Cup final and Grand Final with Warrington (in 2016), perhaps I’m due a win in a big game.”
After signing props Albert Vete, the former Tonga international, from Hull KR and Muizz Mustapha from Leeds and landing loanee Huddersfield backrower Kenny Edwards on a permanent deal, Castleford have snapped up halfbacks Gareth Widdop from Warrington and Jacob Miller from Wakefield.
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