Ben Jones-Bishop outlines his ambition for Sheffield Eagles in the 2022 Betfred Championship season
Sheffield Eagles are yet to outline their aims to the 2022 Betfred Championship season, but that hasn’t stopped new signing Ben Jones-Bishop from dreaming big.
The new-look Eagles are underway with pre-season training ahead of the upcoming campaign, which gets underway on on 30 January when they travel to Barrow Raiders for the league opener.
Goals for the season ahead will likely be set in the coming weeks – and former Leeds Rhinos, Salford and Wakefield utility back Jones-Bishop has a clear idea in his mind of what success would look like next year.
“I think success is trying to get Sheffield knocking on the door of the play-offs," the 33-year-old told The Star ahead of the club’s return to the Olympic Legacy Park.
"Whitehaven surprised a few last year (taking the final spot).
"It’s well-documented that a lot of teams have spent quite a bit of money and it’s a strong league but why not? Why can’t we throw our hat in the ring?”
A disappointing second half of the season saw Sheffield Eagles finish one place above the relegation zone last term.
The RFL, the governing body for professional rugby league in England, has yet to confirm how many Championship sides will qualify for next year’s play-offs, but last week announced that one team will be promoted to Super League and two sides relegated to League 1.
Leeds-based Jones-Bishop revealed how a three-hour chat with Sheffield’s director of rugby Aston convinced him to join the club on a one-year-deal last month after the pair were introduced by Joel Farrell.
The Star understands he also received an offer to play for London Broncos after leaving York City Knights at the end of last season, but turned it down because of his preference to remain closer to home.
Jamaica international Jones-Bishop said: “People know Mark likes to talk a little bit. I told my missus ‘I won’t be long, I’ll be back soon’ and three and a half hours later we were still talking.
"We just had a great conversation about everything really; life, rugby, Sheffield. It developed pretty quick, I like the project.
"I was keen to get involved and hopefully I can do well on the field and help some of the younger boys coming through as well.”