Castleford Tigers’ youngster Jake Trueman has signed a new four-year deal with the Wheldon Road club and, when it was announced yesterday, the 19-year-old beamed that he couldn’t have been happier. “I now have my future for the next four years all sorted so I can now just focus on my rugby. When the offer got put in front of me I just could not turn down the chance to extend my stay even longer here at Castleford,” he told the club’s official website.
Indeed, 2018 proved to be the breakthrough year for the Bradford born prospect and made twenty-eight appearances for the Tigers this season, featuring both in the halves and at full-back, as he took advantage of injuries to more experienced first-teamers to stake his claim for a first team jersey. Such was the impact Trueman had, he was named Super League’s Young Player of the Year in 2018, an award he beat the likes of St Helens’ Danny Richardson – the league’s top points scorer and first choice half-back for the League Leaders’ Shield winners.
After benefiting from the injury misfortune of the likes of Luke Gale and Ben Roberts to establish himself in Castleford’s first team squad, Trueman told the club website that he was aware he still has to work hard to stay in the fold. “I got my opportunity this year because of a couple of injuries but my focus now is getting back into the team in 2019, we have some talented half backs in the team so competition for places is high,” he explained.
After joining the Tigers from Bradford before the start of the 2017 campaign, Trueman’s development has been remarkable and his head coach Daryl Powell was delighted that he has committed his future to Cas. “Jake had an unbelievable first full season for us last year, he showed a maturity well beyond his years and his skill set continues to grow. I’m confident he will continue to be a player who develops because of his work ethic and who performs right at the top of his game over a number of years,” he imparted. “I am delighted he’s decided to stay for the next four years with the Castleford Tigers I think it shows we can keep our talented players as we look for a massive season in 2019,” Powell added.