Can Sheffield Eagles find a new figure-head to drive club forward?

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Sheffield Eagles director Mark Aston says it will be tough for him to replicate the relationship he shared with former owner Ian Swire, as the uncertainty around the club’s future continues.

Aston, the Eagles long term coach, stated at the end of the final game of the campaign that he needed time to reflect before he planned the next step. Since then Chief Executive John Whaling has resigned over a ‘difference of opinion’ at a Board meeting, with no further explanation for his departure.

An unnamed investor looks set to complete a takeover of the club, but Aston confirmed whoever replaces Swire will have a tough act to follow.

“You have a look over the last five years especially and we have been very successful,” Aston said.

“It has been a massive effort from Ian and the board, but he has decided for the right reasons that he wants to retire gracefully. Credit to him, he has been a real pillar of strength to me and the dynamics have changed a lot because of that. That relationship was important to me, so somebody else needs to be that pillar, for me now.”

Eagles are still seeking a club-saving takeover which, before Whaling’s departure, looked set to go ahead within ‘three to four weeks’.

Whilst accepting that his preference is to be with his players, it appears that Aston has stepped back into Boardroom environment, as he and the rest of the Directors try and push a deal over the line before their current funds run out.

A fund set up by supporters reached their £20,000 target, which has helped the club find some much-needed breathing space in their fight for survival.

For now it is all about saving the club, but if Aston decides his long term future remains with the Eagles, he will want that to be firmly on the training field.

“I have been heavily involved over the last 17 years as a board member,” he added.

“Is it time to get out of the Boardroom and stay on the field? That’s what I love, and I thoroughly enjoyed doing it.”