Eagles make it a fab five with Farrell acquisition

New Sheffield Eagles signing Joel Farrell
New Sheffield Eagles signing Joel Farrell

Sheffield Eagles have made it five close season signings after confirming a deal for second-rower Joel Farrell from Batley Bulldogs.

The Jamaican international, who has signed a one-year deal, becomes the third player to move to the Steel City from Mount Pleasant, following the recent signings of Jason Crookes and James Davey.

They also join ex-Hemel duo Louis Sheriff and Sonny Esslemont in committing themselves to Mark Aston’s new look side for 2019.

Farrell made 20 appearances for Batley last season, scoring three tries, and has also enjoyed a spell at Dewsbury Rams earlier in his career.

He played twice against the Eagles last season, with a particularly impressive display in Batley’s home defeat to Aston’s side back in June.

“He's an experienced campaigner but he's actually not that old,” Aston told The Star of his latest capture.

“He's only 24 but he has played a number of games. He has got the experience, he'll have played over 100 games at this level. He may have stagnated a little over the last couple of years, and he needed a fresh challenge. He has that bit of steel that we have been looking for, and he has that bit of quality in him as well. He is a tough and uncompromising figure, and that is something that we have wanted in and around the squad for a while. He is going to be a real added bonus for us.”

Farrell made his name initially at Dewsbury where he made over 50 appearances after breaking into the side in 2014. He also picked up an international appearance for Jamaica.

He signed for Batley in 2017 but now moves to the Eagles, with Aston confident that he can give Farrell the confidence to be a real force with the Eagles.

“I expect to get the best out of him,” Aston added.

“I have spoken to him about what I don't want. When I say that I mean I admire the toughness that he brings but what I don't want to see is the cheap shot type of stuff. I want him to bring some steel out there for us but I can't afford to have him suspended or anything like that. I have stood on his toes already and just told him what I am expecting.

“He arrives here knowing players, his buddies are here so they'll bounce off each other a little and that's great. He'll certainly add something to this squad, of that there's no doubt.”