SHEFFIELD Eagles are set to hit their target of 23 frontline players for next season by agreeing a new deal with Alex Szostak.
Coach Mark Aston expects Szostak, who was at loose-forward in the Grand Final winning team, to sign a new one-year contract this week.
“I’m meeting Alex and I hope to get it all sorted,” said Aston. “I believe he wants to stay here and we want him here, so hopefully we’ll have a result. Alex has a great attitude and fetches a commitment, desire and a great work ethic to the party.”
Scottish international Szostak joined Eagles in 2008 from French club Villeneuve Leopards.
Last season, he topped 100 appearances and played a big part in the Grand Final win after taking over the 13 shirt when Joe Hirst was injured.
Aston said: “Alex definitely got better towards the end of last season. It wasn’t his best season and at times he was taken out of the team. The challenge for Alex in 2013 is to get back to his levels of performance which are very high. With Alex we’ll have 23 players in the squad which is where I want to be.”
Aston is also hoping to talk with reserve full-back Jack Latus who has not been in contact with the club since the season ended.
The former Hull KR, Harlequins and Hunslet player made only one senior appearance after joining the Eagles in May.
“It’s a phone call I need to have,” said Aston. “I guess Jack will be a bit disappointed he didn’t get a run in the first team but it was difficult with people playing so well.”
Hull KR loose forward Dave Petersen is to join his Robins team-mate Louis Sheriff in Australia in 2013.
The 20-year-old Petersen, who made four Super League appearances in 2012 when he spent most of the season on a dual registration with Workington, was due to sign a new deal at Craven Park when he received an offer from Queensland Cup team Mackay Cutters.
“It was too good an opportunity to miss and I wondered whether it would ever come round again,” Peterson told the Hull Daily Mail.
Peterson has signed a 12-month contract with the Cutters, who have also recruited Rovers’ Australian prop Joel Clinton to play alongside Wales international Neil Budworth.