Rugby League: Sheffield Eagles focus on a strong finish - and next season

Mark Aston has challenged his Sheffield Eagles side to go out on a high, with the director of rugby expected to make changes to his playing squad for next season.

Mark Aston
Mark Aston

The Eagles have almost completed their survival bid with only an extraordinary set of circumstances capable of stopping their run in the Betfred Championship.

Aston has now focused his attention to a strong finish to the campaign before he again begins the process of molding his squad for 2019.

The Eagles chief has already stated there will be changes to the playing staff next season, and has set the challenge to his current crop to end their time together on a high.

“We have spoken about this for a while now, but in five more games this squad, this group of people, will be disbanded,” Aston reaffirmed.

“There are a lot of lads here who will not play together again so that's the challenge for them. How do they want to sign off? What story do you want to end your time with Sheffield Eagles.”

With the Challenge Cup final set for this weekend, the Eagles have another break before the Championship Shield resumes with a Friday night hosting of Dewsbury Rams at the OLP.

The fixture is the start four home matches from their last five games, giving the players the opportunity to finish the season strongly on home soil.

Aston also has an eye on finishing as high as possible in the Championship standings, with last weekend’s victory taking his side above the Rams and Barrow Raiders in the table.

With their off the field situation far from stable, there is not only pride at stake for his troops, but the extra revenue for a higher finish in the table could be vital.

“The lads have set some objectives of what they want to achieve,” Aston adds.

“There are five games left now, and the lads want to win as many as they can.

"We have a cushion now, but we also want to finish as high as we can as well. There is money to be earned the higher we finish. The season has been tough, there is absolutely no doubt about that. I would like to finish with a smile on face with some string performances and some great results to sign off in style.”