Andy Lynch has called on Castleford to set up the perfect finale to his career by setting their sights on a first Super League title together before his retirement: adding he has no regrets about calling it a day at the end of this year.
Lynch will bring the curtain down on his career irrespective of whether Castleford lift the Super League trophy at Old Trafford in October – which means he has no more than six games remaining as a professional.
And after the enormity of the club’s League Leaders’ Shield triumph, Lynch says Castleford need to use their remaining league games wisely to ensure they are ready for the play-offs.
“It was nice to get a few days off to celebrate, but we were straight back into the thick of things really quickly,” he told TotalRL.
“I’m getting close to the end of my career and it’s never happened – so to be able to do it in the final weeks of my career makes it even more special, I guess. It was special for everyone in the town; there’s been people watching the team for 60 years and never seen us finish top, so to see people crying with happiness shows how much it means.
“You’ve got to enjoy the night because we achieved something special, but it’s back to the grind. There’s four massive games to go before the semi-finals and we will use every one of them wisely to ensure we’re at our peak for the semis. We want to be hitting the ground running that now so we’re ready for that night.”
And Lynch insists he is certain he is making the right decision about retirement.
When asked if he had any regrets, he said: “No way – none at all! I’ll keep that answer simple: no way!
“I’ve had a great career but it’s my time to retire, and I’m looking forward to the next chapter. The best way to finish would be Old Trafford, so fingers crossed we can win the next six games.
“It comes around quick before you know it; last year I thought there was plenty of time left but there’s only six weeks now, so it’s down to enjoying every single bit of it until I finish.
“There’d be no better feeling to wait all this time to win the Grand Final than to do it right at the end with Castleford.”
Lynch also has another target in his sights: Kevin Sinfield’s all-time Super League appearances record. Lynch is just three behind Sinfield’s total of 454 games in the final weeks of his career, and he said: “You can’t think about that too much, if it happens, it happens.
“It’s one of those things; it’d be nice to do it but I just want to focus on playing well for Castleford. Kevin is a great player and I’ve already passed some great players so to be second is something to look back on with a lot of pride.”