After the announcement of Cory Aston’s move to Castleford Tigers from Leeds in this off season, he can now add a fifth professional club to his CV – not bad for a 22 year old. Son of Sheffield Eagles supremo Mark, Cory left the Steel City club this time last year in order to move to the Rhinos and, throughout 2017, he turned out for both Featherstone and Bradford but not his parent club and he is on the move again.
Castleford are, in the eyes of the youngster, the very best place for him to take the next step in his development and there can be no question he has some top quality people to learn from. The backroom staff at Wheldon Road include former Great Britain half backs Ryan Sheridan and Danny Orr while the head coach is, of course, 2017’s Coach of the Year and ex-international stand off Daryl Powell. In addition to this, and while he had top quality halves Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow to learn from when training with Leeds, his new opportunity with the Tigers sees Aston eyeing a new potential mentor. Speaking following his move, the Sheffield Eagles academy graduate said “if you look at Luke Gale’s career path, he has been at a few clubs and then come here and really blossomed. I think he is an inspiration for me; he had it tough, he went around a bit and he came here and he has turned into a world-class player and an England international.” Throw in Powell’s clear ability to develop players and one would realise that Aston has a superb opportunity to play Super League rugby on a regular basis.
Of course, the fact Ben Roberts is set to move to fill the newly vacant full back berth for the 2017 League Leaders’ Shield winner frees up a half back jersey for a new partner to line up alongside Gale and Aston is set to compete for that spot with fellow new signing Jamie Ellis as well as youngster Jake Trueman. It would be likely to see each of the three get chances to play matches in the 2018 campaign and it will definitely be interesting to see who is Powell’s go to partner for last year’s Man of Steel winner – and we have less than a month to find out who will start the Super League season in possession of the spot.