Castleford keep Shenton away from Bulls' clutches

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Super League's bottom club Castleford have held off competition from Bradford to secure the future of the highly promising centre Michael Shenton.

The 21-year-old locally produced player was out of contract at the end of the season and had been earmarked by the Bulls as a potential replacement for the New Zealand Test centre Shontayne Hape, who plays his final game of rugby league on Sunday before joining Bath.

But Shenton yesterday agreed a new two-year deal and becomes the third member of the side to commit himself to the club following the recent decisions of Joe Westerman and Ryan McGoldrick to extend their contracts. "This is a massive signing for the club," said the coach, Terry Matterson. "We have put a lot of work into the development of home-grown players, so it was very important we kept Michael on board. He is a talented footballer, still only 21, who I see as a future international, and it says a lot for our ambitions that he wants to commit himself to the club."

Shenton said: "It's good to have things sorted out and now I can look forward. I'm pleased to be able to keep working with Terry and looking to keep improving. I know that the club has very high ambitions."

David Hobbs, a man synonymous with the good times at Featherstone Rovers, has become the fifth coach in National League One to lose his job this season. Hobbs, who won the Lance Todd Trophy when Featherstone carried off the Challenge Cup in 1983, also guided his hometown club to promotion last season, but Rovers have struggled this year.