Sheffield Eagles settling in to new surroundings

The early shoots of encouragement suggest that Sheffield Eagles are already starting to bed into their home at Bawtry Road.

The Eagles hosted their first game at their temporary new home on Friday, beating Halifax.

A crowd of just over 1,300 packed into the Sheffield Hallam University Sports Park to sample the Eagles’ latest residence, which saw a late transformation to include two temporary stands with 1,000 covered seating.

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Despite some minor setbacks, the venue appeared to be a hit with supporters and Chief Executive John Whaling was pleased with the way the club settled into their unfamiliar surroundings.

He told The Star: “As first games go at a brand new venue, bearing in mind we only got the stands up on the Monday, we are pleased with the way things went.

“I can’t speak high enough about the people here. They have given us some tremendous support.”

“The people of Sheffield turned out in big numbers and Halifax brought a good following with them too.

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“There were one or two teething problems which we expected but overall we hope that the fans enjoyed the experience and will come back for our next home game against Swinton.

“We had one or two struggling to find somewhere to park.

“It is a shame that we haven’t got more parking here but we have to be respectful to the Sports Park who are running other activities and they require parking too.

“For anyone looking for next time there is Park House Lane car park with lots of spaces, and room on Bawtry Road and the surrounding streets.”

Whaling revealed the Eagles have plans to develop the site throughout the season, with the new installed fan area to be given more attention towards the spring and summer months. He added:

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“We have the fan zone set up and, at the moment it is a marquee, but when the weather gets better we will be having seats outside and other things happening.

“It is an area we want to grow. In good weather with people stood up around the ground, the atmosphere will be fantastic.”

The Eagles are set to move into a new venue for the 2017 season at the Olympic Legacy Park, on the site of the old Don Valley Stadium, with Whaling confirming that the club are ‘still preparing to be in there for February next year’.