Stadium stability boosts Eagles’ Cup prospects

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I’M starting to enjoy the Friday night routine with Sheffield Eagles – not just because the team’s winning.

In the second half of the season the club has avoided the temptation to chop and change. From now until the start of the play-offs if it’s a home game – it’ll be on Friday night and at Don Valley.

In the past the Eagles bosses have jumped around like a kangaroo on heat with game days and venues. Sometimes it’s not been all their fault. The club has to fit in between such major events on the Don Valley sporting calendar as computer fairs and zumba (dancing)!

The on-off affair with Bramall Lane seems to have cooled with only three games at the stadium this season. Last year the infatuation with ‘playing away’ at the Lane led to a three-month spell with only two ‘home’ games – one at Don Valley and one on a private school pitch at Spinkhill, just about as far out as you can get and still have a Sheffield post code.

At least DVS and the Eagles share some tradition with rugby league the main sport at the venue played there for nearly a quarter of a century.

Supporters have to peer into the distance to see the game across the great divide of the running track but they should remember they are looking across one of the wonders of Sheffield - the only stretch of tarmac in the city without a pothole. Why not get Specsavers to sponsor the crowd?

There are signs of improvement. A year or so ago the giant electric scoreboard that once proclaimed the World Student Games blew a fuse and died. Then a couple of games ago a mini-board with the score and game time lit up - cut into the main defunct board like an over-sized travel clock.

Opposition teams don’t like playing at Don Valley – fine, that’s a plus for the Eagles. Hopefully we’ll see a ‘routine’ win against Halifax in the Rail Cup semi-final a week on Friday.

There is a downside – I’ll miss the second night of the Rising Sun, Nether Green, beer festival (5-8 July); we sure have to make sacrifices for our sport!