Their progress may not be as obvious on the eye, but the development of some members of the Sheffield Eagles setup has not been lost on director of rugby Mark Aston.
Whilst Cory Aston’s triumphant return and the successful introduction of Mike Weldon may have hit the headlines, the bread and butter work completed by some of the more unsung heroes of the Eagles’ recent success has been highlighted by Aston.
Whilst acknowledging his side still have some way to go as they search for the correct consistency, the recent upturn has seen a number of youngsters turn around their fortunes as Aston creeps closer to the winning formula he craves.
The likes of Shaun Pick and Mark Offerdahl have been singled out for praise, but the Eagles chief also hailed the contribution of Jon Magrin who has steadily improved his standing after a tough start in South Yorkshire.
“Jon Magrin has been massive for us in recent games,” Aston told The Star. “There has been a big change in his mentality and his drive.
“If you watch his recent games, the extra work he is doing, the little things which we have certainly noticed like the kick-chase, pushing harder out of scrums etc.
“There will be things there that people won’t notice, but we are always looking for that and Jon is responding.
“We can move forward with him, we are looking to develop him and if we can do that with others we’ll bring some stability to the club by developing these guys into a unit.”
Meanwhile, Aston again signalled his intent to secure Weldon on a longer contract. The ex-St Helens ace has been with the club on a short-term basis, with Aston confirming last week that an extended deal was likely after the 20-year-old impressed in his debut against Barrow.
Whilst a deal is still to be confirmed, Aston has stated he expects to have something rubber stamped before the initial one-month deal comes to an end.
“We want to get his deal nailed down within the month trial,” he confirmed.
“We will do that. I like him, I think he likes being here. He wants to progress and develop, so he is ideal.”
“We want to get him tied down and build a team around, the same goes for Paddy Burns and people like that. These lads will get better, that’s what we are looking for.”