Rugby League: Sheffield Eagles boss Aston hands plaudit to veteran Yere
It might be the twilight of a long and distinguished career, but Sheffield Eagles director of rugby Mark Aston says Menzie Yere is still having a major impact despite not being eligible for their Wembley showdown.
Having played in the 1895 Cup during his loan stint at League One Doncaster, Yere is cup tied for the showpiece final against Widnes Vikings later this month.
But Aston still thinks Yere will be integral to any potential success with his role behind the scenes. Whilst he can’t be an influence in the cup games, the veteran PNG ace is still making his mark in the cut and thrust of the Championship, bagging a try in the recent success against Widnes at the OLP.
Aston told The Star: “He was great against Widnes. He has been a little rusty but when we needed him he stepped up. He hit the ball with purpose, so they had to tackle him and put their bodies on the line. He gave me a quick play of the ball from which we scored a try through the middle. Menzie gave me that tempo, that quick play which Aaron Brown took on and Thacks (Anthony Thackeray) finished it. That all came from Menzie. That's the player who we know.”
The Eagles still hold ambitions of breaking into the Championship play-off places, but Aston knows he cannot afford any further slip ups.
Whatever happens in the league, picking up some silverware following two years of off the field struggle would represent a major step forward to the once ailing club.
Long-serving Yere has tasted success with the club in the past, and Aston knows he is a respected figure in the dressing room whose influence is likely to be crucial during the Wembley showdown.
Aston added: “The respect the boys have for him is immense. He puts some shots out there, and the boys buzz off the back of that. As an elder statesman, he inspires the others.
“He can't play at Wembley as he is cup tied which is a shame because I would have loved that. He will though play a part. The fairy tale is now he'll be massive part around the squad. He'll be with us, and I'll need the leadership skills which he offers by his actions.”
The Eagles take on Halifax this weekend knowing there is little margin for error. Aston though is maintaining a long-standing policy of not looking further than the next game, as he looks to build on what was an impressing showing in victory over Widnes.
He continued: “We are working hard for each other, we are defending with an attitude and a commitment. I wanted to back up the Batley performance and to do that like we did was pretty special. It is not unexpected because we have a good squad here who work hard. I thought defensively again we were outstanding. I'm looking at Halifax and we want to win it. That's the aim. If we can win all the games we'll have had a great season, and something I'll be immensely proud of.”