SHEFFIELD EAGLES: Young guns can call the shots at our club, says boss Mark Aston

Leopard man: Eddie Battye
Leopard man: Eddie Battye
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SHEFFIELD Eagles’ coach Mark Aston has challenged an elite group of young players to make an impact with the Championship Grand Final winners in 2013.

The players will train with the first team squad after coming through the club’s development programme.

“They will be in the elite training squad and we need them to push on,” said Aston.

“We want to promote lads from within the club.

“These lads will be training full on with the first team.”

Competition for first team places will be intense with Aston adding five new signings with Championship experience to the squad. But the door has been left ajar for players from the reserves to stake a claim in the new season.

It will be a big year for centre Corey Hanson who played 17 games scoring 12 tries in 2011 but was sidelined by injuries last season.

Forwards Sam Williamson and Connor Scott - who like Hanson had injury problems - will also be expected to challenge. “Corey needs to re-establish himself in the first team squad,” said Aston. “Sam is coming of age and needs to mature into a lad who can play in the first team squad.

“Connor has already made his first team debut and he is one we would expect to kick on in 2013.”

Aston says he is also pleased with the progress prop forward Eddie Battye is making with Villeneuve Leopards in the French league.

“Eddie is getting plenty of game time at a tough level and will be a very useful acquisition when he comes back into our squad after the French season,” said Aston.