Sheffield Eagles’ position amongst the rugby league elite will come again, says their long serving coach Mark Aston.
The Eagles have endured a tough 2016 campaign despite the optimism that was coursing through the club following the decision to return as a full-time operation.
Aston’s side may yet save their season following a much improved end to the campaign, but overall it has proven to be a bruising season for a club that have enjoyed considerable success over recent years.
That said, director of rugby Aston believes that his side will be stronger for the experience, and with a new stadium and potential new owners to follow, he believes that the Eagles will re-discover their former glory.
“Did we think it was going to easy this year? We knew that nothing is ever easy in life,” Aston told The Star.
“You have to work hard, and at times during this season we didn’t work hard enough, and we didn’t want it enough.
“The experiences this year will certainly stand us in good stead going forward. Recent results and performances have been good. We went to Leigh who have only lost twice this season and pushed them very close. Our team has cost I would say a third of what Leigh’s is costing.
“I don’t believe you buy success. It is about development for me. We have had a change this season in a lot of personnel, there will be some change again, but if we can get our heads down, re-focus ourselves, then we will get back to where we want to be.
“You look at Manchester United and Leeds Rhinos, these clubs haven’t stayed at the top all the time, there is always a time when you have a bit of a down. It is how you face that now, and how you build on the back of that and that is what we have to do now.”
The victory over Whitehaven ensured the regular season ended on a high for Aston’s Eagles, and now they have the Championship Shield in their sights as the division splits into two.
“One thing I have always said to the players is this is not about your ability, it never has been. It is about your mental attitude to you being a winner,” he added.
“We have shown improvement recently, we have to keep it going.”