Sheffield Eagles: Final preparations for big homecoming

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Finishing touches are being applied to Sheffield Eagles’ temporary new home as rugby league prepares to return to the Steel City this Friday.

The Eagles will be hosting their 2016 fixtures at the Sheffield Hallam University Sports Park on Bawtry Road.

They host Richard Marshall’s Halifax this Friday night (8pm) after starting the campaign with a crushing 6-42 victory at Workington Town.

It has been a bumpy ride for the Eagles in their quest to return to their home city, but new chief executive John Whaling confirmed that everything is set to be in place with a temporary stand due to be installed at the time of writing.

“We are fortunate that Sheffield Hallam University have stepped in and said come back to Sheffield,” Whaling told The Star.

“It was a long journey having to go to Doncaster week in, week out, but it was a good facility and a great pitch which suited our style of play.

“We have the same here, with some nice temporary stands which were set to be ready on Monday which will include just over 1,000 seats providing a good viewing platform for spectators.”

The Eagles have installed portable cabins on site for ticket purchases, while Whaling confirmed street parking around the sports park will provide enough room on matchdays.

“We are using the cabins from our time at Owlerton for the turnstiles, and that is now in place,” he added.

“There will be no parking for supporters on site due to the Sports Park’s other commitments, but there is plenty of on street parking around the facility.”

Supporters of the Eagles are set to watch their team like never before with the Bawtry Road facility putting the fans right on top of the action.

At previous homes at Don Valley and Owlerton the fans were set far away from the pitch, but Whaling is convinced the new intimate location will tick the boxes with the Eagles faithful.

He continued: “The fans will be close up, it will be intense and you will be able to hear the big hits, that’s for sure.

“We now need to the fans to come down, get behind the club for what is a big game against Halifax. They are a club that could be pushing for the top four, so this will be a good early test for us.”