Sheffield Eagles boss Mark Aston wants Anthony Thackeray to reconsider retirement plans

Sheffield Eagles boss Mark Aston wants Anthony Thackeray to reconsider his plan to retire at the end of the season.

Monday, 2nd May 2022, 5:51 pm

The evergreen Sheffield skipper, now 36, continues to lead from the front and is the club’s joint-highest try-scorer this season alongside Ben Jones-Bishop with 11.

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Hull-based Thackeray announced his intention to leave rugby league for good at the end of the 2022 campaign and focus on running his mortgage services business full time. But Aston has other ideas.

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Sheffield Eagles captain Anthony Thackeray still plans to retire at the end of the season (photo by George Wood/Getty Images).

"Tubbs (Aston) has been onto me a little bit about going round again,” Thackeray told The Star.

"We had a text conversation not long ago and he said ‘another 12 months’. I sent a few laughing emojis and said ‘I’ll be watching from the stands’.

"He’s obviously going to have a conversation with me but, as I told him, it’s my last year.”

Asked if he had seriously considered changing his mind, half-back Thackeray said: “Not at this moment.

"A few people have been onto me. I announced it because I didn’t want to get injured and have people think I’m past it.

"I wanted to get it out early so I could concentrate on having a good year and sign out on my own terms.”

Tom Holmes, who is on loan at Sheffield from Featherstone Rovers, has been mooted as a possible long-term replacement for Thackeray – and the 26-year-old received a glowing endorsement from the outgoing talisman.

“He’s a class player,” said Thackeray.

"He’s a really good lad and a funny guy. He’s definitely been in a Super League set-up. He’s been coached properly and knows how to play the game.”

Izaac Farrell is also capable of stepping up, Thackeray said.

“He can kick a ball, he can run a ball, they (Sheffield) will be alright.

“You need that experience but at the same time you want someone who’s pretty youthful who you can put your stamp on for a few years.”

Thackeray, who began his career with hometown club Hull FC of Super League, added: "You need proper coaching. At Championship level it’s more about managing the players rather than coaching because of the limited time you get.

"I am sure he (Aston) will be on the lookout for other players.”