Written by Callum Walker
Hailing from Billinge, St Helens, Matt Costello is the typical homegrown player. A fan from a young age, swapping the terraces for the field to don the Red Vee became a reality for the 22-year-old – a feat which he is understandably delighted to achieve.
“It’s massive for me that I have the chance to play for the club I followed growing up,” Costello stated to Everything Rugby League
“It started with over 200 lads with the same dream from St. Helens at the age of 13 on a field for trials and there’s only me and Josh Eaves left.
“So, it’s something that I’m hugely proud of and that I try to relish being a part of with every opportunity that I get.”
To aid his development the three-quarter has spent time on-loan at Sheffield as well as on dual-registration with Leigh, experiences which he looks back on with fondness.
“In my first year, I was with Sheffield and I can honestly say I loved my time there.
“It was my first time out of the St. Helens environment and it gave me a whole different account of rugby than I was used to.
“We were fighting for survival in the Championship and the lads and coaching staff created an atmosphere that made it enjoyable to be there.
“We managed to stay up and climb the table a little it towards the end of that season.
“I am thankful for the faith that the club showed to play me without having proven myself, and I have nothing but good memories there.
“Last season I was with Leigh, I didn’t play many games on dual-reg, but I really enjoyed the change of environment and the group of lads we had when I was there.
“The coaching staff were great with us and I always looked forward to going there if I wasn’t in the Saints first-team.”
Of course, like any professional sportsman, as much game time as possible is the aim for Costello. And, for a 22-year-old that can play anywhere along the backline, he’s willing to step away from the Totally Wicked Stadium to unlock that.
“The taste I have had for first-team rugby and especially earlier in the year to get a chance to play in the World Club Challenge, I want to be playing games every week.
“Whether that is with St Helens or not, I don’t know; there’s a lot of quality players ahead of me in every position at a great club like this, and I respect that they have all earned their shirts.
“That makes games hard to come by and I have been fortunate with injuries over the past few years to play the amount of games that I have.
“Sometimes I thought I may never get the chance to play one, but I know that every game I get the chance to play in is an honour for me and my family.
“I’m at an age where I’ve been with the first team for three years now and I’m not getting any younger, so it’s something I’ll really have to think about for myself long-term.
“I love being at the club and the players that I get to share the dressing room with, but at some point, I’ll have to sit down and make a decision that’s best for my future.”