The last few months have been a whirlwind for youngster Ryan Morley, who has gone from being involved with the Tigers College team to training and playing with the senior side, making his first appearance at York.
Ryan sat down with castlefordtigersfoundation.co.uk to talk about how he has found the experience and began by going through what it was like to run out in front of the Fords faithful for the first time during their opening pre-season friendly.
“It was an unreal experience! I’ve been training my hardest for the last four years for that moment and I was shellshocked at how special it was when I walked out.
“The fans were cheering, and I just thought ‘Wow, the hard work has paid off.’ There is still a lot of hard work to do but I’m just going to keep pushing.”
The 19-year-old has been involved with the Castleford Tigers Foundation’s College from October last year where they offer a fantastic education pathway alongside playing rugby league at a competitive level.
Talking about the difference between the college and First Team training sessions, Morley stated that the standards are incredibly high in the senior environment.
“The training has been really intense because I have gone from doing seven kilometres to 24 kilometres in a week, so to start it was difficult.
“Now I am training at a Super League standard you’ve got to be on tip top form, and you can’t be making any silly mistakes. As soon as we come in for 8 o’clock at Wheldon Road, you’ve got to be on it straight away.”
Stepping up to play with experienced internationals can be a daunting experience for a young player, however, Ryan gave a mention to his teammates for welcoming him with open arms.
“The lads have been ace because they have been helping me along the way and picking me up if I’ve been slacking.
“Having people around you like that is great for the young players. We all have good banter as well at lunch and it’s a really good atmosphere around the place.”
Cas Head Coach Lee Radford has reiterated his desire to bring through young talent at the Club, and this was certainly shown by a number of Academy players being included in both pre-season friendly squads.
In closing, Morley mentioned that Radford has already had a great impact on him and the other young chargers in the squad.
“Radders has been really good with me. He’s one of the best coaches to be under in terms of bringing through youth. He really takes his time to look at the young players and he’s given me the great opportunity to be training with the first team.
“Lee always looks at player as individuals and always talks to you one on one about where you are going wrong and how you can improve. He’s a top coach.”
For more information about how to get involved with the Tigers College, click HERE.