How Sheffield Eagles feels like home again for Pat Walker
It might be a new crop of players, and a new home, but Sheffield Eagles stand-off Pat Walker says he feels he has never been away.
Walker returned to the Steel City during the close season after three years with Batley, and has played every game as Mark Aston’s side have defied the odds to sit third in the Championship standings.
With six wins from seven, Walker has played an instrumental role in the halves alongside Anthony Thackeray, as Aston’s re-shaped team for 2019 continue to take the division by storm.
The former Dewsbury ace celebrated his 33rd birthday in style on Sunday, as the Eagles produced a good all-round performance to defeat York.
Walker says the switch back to South Yorkshire could not have gone any better, stating being back in the red and gold is providing a welcome familiar feeling.
He explained to The Star: “There has been a few changes since I was last here, there aren't many of the lads left from my first stint, aside from some of the younger players. The personnel might have changed, but it hasn't really felt like I left to be honest. It has been great to be back, and things are going well for us.”
Walker was part of the last successful Eagles team which reached the top four in 2015, and also played in their Grand Final success in 2013.
Since his departure the Eagles has been on a downward spiral, but a successful start to the new campaign has seen a wave of optimism flow through the club.
Whilst Walker returned with the Eagles expected to improve following an impressive close season recruitment drive, the experienced operator admitted their current position is perhaps exceeding his expectations at this stage of the campaign.
He said: “I think we are probably doing better than what we could have imagined after virtually putting together a new side over the close season.
“We couldn't really have asked for a better start. We want to keep it going now and we know there is another tough game against Leigh in the cup to follow. It is a break from the league, it might be a chance for some fresh faces to come in, we'll see. It would be nice to think we could achieve something, but we have taken a policy of not looking further than the next game, and the next game is Leigh.”