Welcome to the November edition of Eye Of A Tiger, the monthly series where I talk to Castleford players past and present. In this months issue I interview Dean Sampson who played for the Tigers from 1987 to 2005 and is regarding as being a legend of the game by many Castleford supporters.
Question: Who was the best player you played against and with?
Dean:”Lee Crooks and Kevin Ward either one in the categories as they were both my hero’s growing up and I played with and against both. Both Castleford legends!”
Q: “What made you want to retire from Rugby League was it because of injuries or fitness levels?”
A: Neither I just got old!!
Q:”After retiring did you have any regrets about your career at all?”
A: “I had an amazing career doing the thing I loved most in my life and getting paid to do it with a club I truly loved being at! Wheldon road vs. Leeds under floodlights over 10,000 people where there!! Nirvana!! So no regrets really”
Q:Throughout your career what would you say is your biggest achievement?
A: “2004 taking a group of young men and with the help of Tony Marchant and Steve Gill moulding them into a Grand Final Winning Team! Proud of everyone of em!”
Q:Who was the best coach to play under in your career?
A:”Had Shenton Huby Lunt England Mossop just to name a few. My Dad David is and was the most positive influence on my life and I will always be greatful for having him as my father but Stuart Raper took my game and me personally to another level!”
Q:What are your current thoughts on the Castleford side now and do you think they are able to win silverware next season. If so what will they need to improve on?
A:”Daryll has assembled a team who play the way we used to, attack attack attack! It’s the best form of defence! This truly inspirational group certainly have the ammunition to bring silverware to Cas! Maybe a bit tighter in defence is my only criticism? That been my coaching speciality I’m always available to help the Tigers cause lol”
Q:Which players do you think will stand out for Castleford next year?
A:”Be interesting to see if Luke can prove himself again after his international test but would love to see young Maher get a fair crack he’s a unit and like how he plays”
This concludes this months Eye Of A Tiger tune in next month for another player interview