SHEFFIELD Eagles boss Mark Aston is relishing the prospect of testing his coaching skills against his old boss John Kear.
The pair were partners in plotting Eagles’ Challenge Cup win over Wigan in 1998 but now they are in opposing dugouts.
Kear has this season taken over as coach of Batley Bulldogs who come to Bramall Lane on Thursday night for a crucial Championship clash.
“I’ve been looking forward to playing against John’s team,” said Aston. “I coached against John when he was at Hull in the Challenge Cup but it’s a different kettle of fish for him now.
“He’s coaching at the same level and it will be a challenge for him (after coaching Super League). He’s moved from working with full-time to part-time players.”
Eighteen months after the Wembley triumph Kear moved to Huddersfield following the merger with the iants.
He coached Hull FC to Challenge Cup success in 2005 and was boss of Wakefield Wildcats until dropping down to the Championship with Batley.
Kear paid tribute to the way Aston has created a new Eagles club. He said: “Mark is ‘Mr Sheffield’ and has done a great job over with Eagles. I’m looking forward to the game.”
The game is live on satellite channel Premier Sports. Eagles bid to extend their winning run to three games.