IT’S fair to say that former Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell turned the West Yorkshire club around.
From basement dwellers to silverware hunters, Castleford took on a meteoric rise under the current Warrington Wolves head coach.
Appearing in a Challenge Cup Final in 2014 and then a Super League Grand Final in 2017, Powell steered the Tigers to heights previously unseen at the Jungle.
However, during Powell’s tenure at the club, according to rugby league agent Craig Harrison, there was a shortage of young players making their way through to the first-team with Harrison explaining why that was and why he took two players to rival clubs.
“Powelly (Daryl Powell) is one of the best people I’ve met in rugby league,” Harrison said on Show Me The Money Rugby League TV podcast.
“But, Powelly didnt do a good enough job in bringing through youngsters at Cas. I think he got six through and some of those only had a few games and some came from other clubs like (Jake) Trueman and Tuoyo Egodo. Jacques O’Neill and Will Maher came from Cumbria at an early age.
“He went top end, he tried to win a Grand Final and came up short in 2017. He thought if he brought a Grand Final back to Cas it would be seen as being a better move for Cas than developing ten or 11 youngsters.
“When they got through to the academy youth final against Wigan, that crop should have been pushing through.
“I took two players out of Cas – Luis Johnson at Warrington – and took out Callum McLelland (who went to Scotland rugby union) because they signed Cory Aston and Jamie Ellis as I felt they were stunting the growth of McLelland.”
Harrison is also unsure about whether or not the youth policy will change under Lee Radford.
“I can’t see that changing. Cas have got some great youngsters, whether they can change that I don’t know.
“Radders’ (Lee Radford) recruitment is top heavy, they have renewed contacts on 30+ players.”