Super League: Castleford Tigers’ Daryl Clark refuses to be sidetracked by speculation
By by James Pearson @SportsPeo
Last Updated: 18/06/14 8:15am
Castleford’s in-form hooker Daryl Clark is focusing only on playing well for the Tigers and not where he might be playing rugby league next season.
The 21-year-old hooker has been in superb form for Daryl Powell’s troops, helping the unfancied club to the lofty heights of fourth in the table after 16 league games, plus a place in the Challenge Cup semi-finals.
Clark’s efforts earned him a call-up by head coach Steve McNamara to England's 34-man squad for their mid-season training camp at Loughborough University this week.
The displays by the talented youngster have seen him linked with a move away rom the Tigers, though he insists his only focus right now is on the pitch.
“I just concentrate on the here and now and what I’m doing this year,” said Clark. “I want to keep working hard with the team I’m with at the minute.
I’ll be there until the end of the year and at the end of the year I’ll see what my options are. I’m just concentrating on what I’m doing this year.
“We’ll see what happens at the end of the year. I’m a Castleford player. I’m pretty pleased with how I’ve gone this year.
“I’ll be there until the end of the year and at the end of the year I’ll see what my options are. I’m just concentrating on what I’m doing this year.”
Clark is reportedly in the running to win this season's Steve Prescott Man of Steel award, but the rising talent will not allow himself to be sidetracked by the suggestions.
“I’ve not heard anything like that. I don’t think about that too much,” he continued. “I train and play hard and hopefully whatever comes off the back of that is a bonus.”
Clark will be vying with the likes of James Roby, Michael McIlorum and Josh Hodgson to win a place in McNamara’s squad for the Four Nations, which begins in October in Australia.
The Tigers youngster knows competition for places is competitive, but that is not denting his resolve to make England’s number nine shirt his own.
“There’s a lot of talented players going around in my position. You never know if you’re going to get that opportunity. I’m pretty pleased to be involved in the set-up.
“There’s tough competition. There’s four players fighting for that one spot. It’s going to be interesting. I’ll do everything I can. I’ll try and put my name in the frame.
“He’s (Roby) made the shirt his own over the years for what he’s done in the game. He’s a great player. I could get out of the game half of what he’s done then I’ll be more than happy.”