Full-time status will be vital to Sheffield Eagles says Aston

Mark Aston is relishing spending more time with his players. Photo: Chris Lawton
Mark Aston is relishing spending more time with his players. Photo: Chris Lawton
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Director of Rugby Mark Aston is relishing spending more time on the training ground with his players once Sheffield Eagles become full-time in November.

The Eagles will this week accelerate their preparations for the Super 8s, with the opportunity of making an earlier than expected return to Super League.

Whilst they will be outsiders to make the leap this season, the future looks bright with the prospect of competing on the same footing next season as the current 12 clubs in the top flight.

As Aston prepares his side around several of his squad’s work commitments this week, he is looking forward to more time with his players next season.

“It will be a massive difference (becoming full-time) because we will have more hours to work with the lads, more than I have had to work with over the last 16 years,” Aston told The Star.

“It will be a big step up and improvement on three nights of an hour and a half a week, and at times not even as much as that. Next year we can have as much as that in one morning.

“We can all go out on the training ground together, come into the gym and do the weights together, and also work on the finer points of each individual’s game.”

Being with his squad on a daily basis will not only allow Aston the opportunity to be more meticulous on his match preparation, but alongside his coaching team, he views it as a opportunity to improve his side on an individual basis.

“It is important to get the hours, if you are going to improve your players you need to work with them,” he affirmed.

“It isn’t only about the time you spend working on the players, it is also having the time for recovery and rest which is very important to us as well. It is about getting the balance right to allow the likes of Keith Senior and Nick Ward the time to get in there and use their expertise and experience to the maximum.”