CASTLEFORD is just the next stop in what Luke Hooley admits has not been the “smoothest ride” of a career.
The 25-year-old fullback has joined the Tigers after just one season at Leeds, where he was limited to eight appearances.
In doing so, Hooley has reunited with Craig Lingard, who coached him successfully over three years (plus a loan spell last term) at Batley after he was released by Wakefield as a youngster.
“He’s done a lot for me in my career. He took a chance on me and he’s worked hard on me,” said Lingard of the new Castleford coach.
“He’s done a lot of things away from the field too, giving me advice when I’ve asked for it.
“I’ve not had the smoothest ride in my Rugby League career all along. I was at Wakefield for three years and never played one game. I moved to the Championship and they were the best two years I played in my career.
“I don’t ever see it as a step down. I’m here to do a job and prove myself.
“Hopefully I can have this year and get a bit of consistency and rhythm in my game and just enjoy it again.”
Hooley describes his spell at Leeds as “a learning curve and a bit of a ride.”
He added: ”I went there with big ambitions to have a good two years. I snapped my ankle in pre-season, which was an obstacle to get over and I did that.
“Then I made my debut (against Hull KR) and it was probably the worst game I’ve ever had in my life. That’s one that you learn from and you get over.
“I went back to Batley and went to Wembley. Then I played the last seven games of the season and had a pretty good run.”