SHEFFIELD Eagles’ coach Mark Aston will give a senior debut to his teenage son Cory in the Challenge Cup.
It will come almost 15 years after Aston lifted his then toddler onto his shoulders as the Eagles celebrated winning the trophy against Wigan at Wembley Stadium.
“Cory has been a standout player for the Academy this year and he’s ready,” said Aston senior. “I’ll be proud but I’ll be nervous, like any other dad.
“There’s a lot of stuff out there because his dad was a player. There will be pressure on Cory but he’s earned his place with hard work.
“He’s been a standout player with the Academy and training with the first team. The coaching staff, the players, have seen what I’ve seen in training and he doesn’t look out of place.”
The 18-year-old – a half-back like his father - will face top amateur team Leigh East in the third round game at Don Valley Stadium on Sunday.
One or more other Academy players may also play but Aston won’t take chances after the Eagles lost their first game in eight at Whitehaven. Cory will start on the bench.
He added: “We’ll be smart, put Cory on at the right time, as we do with any young player. Cory probably has a bit more than I had at his age. He’s a smart player and he’ll attack the line and have a dig.
“He’ll push through and score the points. He’s certainly a little bit sharper, not much, but a little bit quicker than me.”
Aston, who was also 18 when he made his Eagles debut in 1986, added: “Cory is full of confidence, he’ll tell people what to do. That was one of my traits and from being a young kid I told players what to do, when and where. He’ll do that and the players will respond to him. It’ll be an exciting day for Cory and for me.”