Aston concentrates on coaching as new chief signs

Eagles' new team at the top, Mark Aston and Ken Jones
Eagles' new team at the top, Mark Aston and Ken Jones
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Sheffield Eagles have confirmed that Mark Aston has stepped aside as Chief Executive of the club, to concentrate on his role as Director of Rugby.

The Eagles have brought in Ken Jones, formerly a director at Championship rivals Featherstone Rovers, to take over as Chief Executive.

Jones has many years of commercial experience, working as a managing director at several successful businesses, and Aston believes the move will benefit the club both on and off the field.

He said: “Ken’s knowledge and experience will help catapult the business side of the club to a different level.

“Going into the new stadium, we need to hit the ground running. As soon as we open the door on that first day, everything needs to be in place.

“It allows me to do what has always been my passion, and that is be a director of rugby, but essentially a coach.

“The new structure is upon us. We would love to be the first Championship team to be promoted.

“It will be difficult, but the money at stake by finishing higher up the competition will give us the opportunity to get closer to being a full-time outfit. To become better we need to have more time with the players.

“It’s really exciting, because that has always been the dream for the club; to have our own home and to be playing at the highest level possible.”

Jones said: “When I left Featherstonr, John Whaling asked whether I would still be interested in working in rugby league, and when he articulated the vision of Sheffield Eagles he won me over. I have absolute respect for Mark and what he has achieved over the last 30 years.

“I always had that begrudging admiration for what he and the club have done, because they have consistently punched above their weight.

“This represents an opportunity to take, what I believe, is a sleeping giant and move it forward into Super League.

“The potential is definitely therel.”