Question marks over the future of Sheffield Eagles players and mainstay Mark Aston
The season may be over but there are many unanswered questions surrounding Sheffield Eagles as their squad starts to break up.
Winger Rob Worrincy is rejoining Halifax, centre Nathan Chappell is moving on and Dave Hewitt is completing a permanent switch to Oldham - that takes the known departures to seven following the end of the campaign last weekend.
There is also a doubt over director Mark Aston’s future after a season which may well end with a takeover, but the damage could already have been done in the eyes of their long serving coach.
Aston has continually spoken about not wanting to ‘start again’ by forming a new squad and if the takeover isn’t rubber-stamped in the next few weeks, he is in danger of losing most of his prized assets.
“We have some quality here but I fear they will be on the move which concerns me,” Aston admitted. “I am not starting what we started 17 years ago again, I can’t do it, I am too old. We spoke the other week about the players all being free agents, so it will be interesting in the next week to see how many have gone. I don’t know the answer to that question, there could be some that are contracted who have gone because we have allowed them to look for other clubs. That is a bit disappointing because there is a nucleus of good kids here.”
Worrincy’s departure was confirmed by Halifax who announced their former player was returning to The Shay for the 2017 season.
Chappell, who was only on a deal until the end of the season, announced his goodbye on social media, stating: “Unfortunately the situation that the club is in has left me with no choice but to move forward with another club, which I am hugely looking forward to the challenge.
“I’ve met some great people at Sheffield and would like to thank Tubby (Aston) for giving me the opportunity of getting back into the game I love to play.”
There are also rumours circulating that Scott Wheeldon will be leaving also, with Bradford Bulls among a host of admirers.
Prior to the end of the campaign, Aston confirmed that Steve Thorpe, Keal Carlile and Michael Knowles would be leaving the club, whilst Rhys Jacks has previously signed a deal with Toronto.