Fos­ter has grad­u­ated from time at Ox­ford with Tigers

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - RUGBY LEAGUE - PETER SMITH

CASTLE­FORD TIGERS for­ward Alex Fos­ter’s sea­son be­gan at Ox­ford and could end at Old Traf­ford.

The for­mer Feather­stone Rovers player has gone from fear­ing he was about to be un­em­ployed to the verge of a Su­per League Grand Fi­nal ap­pear­ance against an­other of his old sides, Leeds Rhi­nos, on Satur­day.

Fos­ter was left without a club when Brad­ford Bulls – who he joined from Lon­don Bron­cos at the end of last sea­son – went bust.

Tigers coach Daryl Pow­ell signed him on trial and sent him to Ox­ford on dual-reg­is­tra­tion to prove his fit­ness fol­low­ing a groin in­jury. He played in a 20-6 League One loss to Work­ing­ton Town in front of 120 spec­ta­tors at Til­s­ley Park in March, was signed by Castle­ford af­ter that and has been part of the first-team squad ever since.

Fos­ter, 24, played in Tigers’ 2322 ex­tra-time win over St He­lens in last week’s Su­per League semi­fi­nal and ad­mit­ted it has been a dream year.

“The first game I played was at Ox­ford,” he re­called.

“It has been un­be­liev­able, I could never have en­vi­sioned it.

“Hats off to ev­ery­one at Cas, there’s been so much hard work go­ing on be­hind the scenes by the coaches and the play­ers have been train­ing hard ev­ery day.

“The fans have been be­hind us ev­ery minute of this sea­son. This club has made it hap­pen for me and made it hap­pen for ev­ery­one.

“Hope­fully we can go one step fur­ther at the Grand Fi­nal.”

Fos­ter has played in Tigers’ last 16 games, but in­sisted he is not tak­ing a place in Satur­day’s team for granted.

“Oggy (Oliver Holmes) could be back this week and there’s a lot of play­ers who have been push­ing for places,” said the player, who came through the Leeds Rhi­nos sys­tem, but played just a hand­ful of first-team games un­der Brian McDer­mott be­fore be­ing re­leased at the end of 2015.

“For a lot of lads it’s go­ing to be a ner­vous wait to see what the team is, but we’ve just got to keep on with what we are do­ing, train hard and try and get that spot.

“Leeds are a very good team, They fin­ished sec­ond and have been very strong this year. We have got to step our game up from last Thurs­day and kick on.”

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