DARYL POWELL insists communication will be key if York City Knights’ partnership with his Castleford club is to work.
Powell’s Super League team beat a young Knights side 62-6 on Sunday in a pre-season friendly which was set up as part of the new arrangement between the clubs.
How the dual-registration agreement between the two will work over the course of 2014 is of bigger significance, however, but Powell was optimistic good relationships already in place will prove positive.
The one-time Leeds boss was a coaching consultant at Huntington Stadium prior to taking charge at Featherstone and then Cas, while Knights boss Gary Thornton took the helm at York after three years coaching the academy at The Jungle.
“If we get it right between us and if it’s done in the right way it can benefit both clubs,” said Powell.
“I know John Guildford (Knights chairman) pretty well and I know Gary Thornton as well, which is good. It’s that communication that will make it work.”
Dual-reg proved problematic for York at times last season when in partnership with Hull, while Cas’ agreement with Keighley was also severed within a year.
Additionally, complaints about the Super League academy and dual-reg structures mean an under-23s competition is to be brought back for top-tier clubs from 2015, but for now they have only U19s below the first team.
“It’s the system we’ve got,” said Powell. “Last year we had some difficulties with some of our players getting game time. But we’ve got to make sure we get it right from York’s perspective. With no reserve team or under-23s, it’s difficult. Players need to play. The players are important and getting it right from both clubs’ perspective is important.”
The Tigers fielded predominantly a Super League line-up on Sunday but also on show were a handful of young substitutes who may be in line for dual-reg spells at York this year.
One of them, Ben Reynolds, was particularly impressive after replacing Jordan Tansey at full-back. Tansey, the former Knights player, limped off after a tackle by Ben Dent.
“There are people like Dan Fleming, Ben Reynolds, and Jordan Howden, who’s still under-19s,” said Powell when asked of possible dual-reg players who had featured.
“He’s going to need to play against men as we go through the season.
“Brad Day and big Will Maher as well – Will is still only 17 and I thought he was pretty good.”
As for the Knights youngsters, who were overrun at the start and end of the match but won the middle half-hour 6-0, Powell said: “I thought they went well. They caused us some trouble.”