This evening saw directors of Castleford Tigers meet the fans at a local event where they sought to answer fans questions and outline some of their future plans.
One of the more drawing topics was that of Zak Hardaker who, as a result of a failed drugs test last October, was released by the club at the end of February. Speaking of the situation, Gill revealed that the decision to let the former England star leave the club was a board decision. Initially, the club found him potential employment with a sponsor of the club as well as offering him a new contract but that was turned down by the former Man of Steel winner. As a result, Hardaker left the club and is now free to speak to rivals – it has long been rumoured that Wigan Warriors are keen to offer him a way back into the sport and it was suggested that he would get a job within the club to fulfil until he is able to play rugby league once more.
The meeting was also the first time that new director of rugby Jon Wells was formally introduced to the fans following his return to a club he once played for. As the man who will be looking after rugby related matters from the lowest to highest level at the club, one of the first tasks Wells has been tasked with is to had a serious look at the youth setup at the club having seen the head of youth at Wheldon Road – Pete Riding – depart recently for Warrington Wolves.
Wells confirmed his wish to see the club both win silverware and establish themselves as one of Super League’s premier clubs. Furthermore, he revealed that he is keen to provide a pathway for players through the ranks at the club into the first team and, thus, leave the team in a sustainable position where homegrown talent is promoted.
The meeting came fresh after the Tigers won a thrilling local derby on Friday night as they conquered Leeds Rhinos 25-24 at Elland Road after racing into an incredible 24-0 lead within half an hour.